There are a number of fascinating elements to this story, and one of them is the way that love is presented. It is clear that as we trace the birth of the relationship between Gurov and Anna that this is not just another casual seduction, the like of which Gurov is very familiar with. In contrast to the shallow, superficial nature of Russian society, the love that Anna and Gurov have for each other is shown to be pure and genuine. However, Chekhov leaves us and them only at the point when they have realised that they do love each other and are aware of the cost of what pursuing that love will entail:
Then they discussed their situation for a long time, trying to think how they could get rid of their necessity for hiding, deception, living in different towns, being so long without meeting. How were they to shake off these intolerable fetters?
Even though it is clear that rough times lie ahead for these lovers as they seek to extricate themselves from their social positions, at the same time the ending is one of hope as they contemplate the "inch" that separates them from the "new, beautiful life." Chekhov seems to be suggesting that the pursuit of true love is never easy, and will always involve suffering and hard times, yet at the same time it is the highest moral good, and worthy of those difficult trials.