Being a skillful short story writer, Chekhov establishes Gurov's character traits in the opening paragraphs of Part I. Gurov's observations are first described. This (1) introduces the co-protagonist, Anna, and (2) establishes the story as a psychological one: psychological narratives are interested in cognitive processes and motivations of the characters more than in plot and action. Chekhov then gives a brief glimpse of Gurov's social mores (a glimpse almost immediately contradicted). Gurov tells himself that since "'the lady with the dog'" is alone, without friends or family present, it is improper to approach her:
"If she is here alone without a husband or friends, it wouldn't be amiss to make her acquaintance," Gurov reflected.
Gurov is describe in terms of his attainments, accomplishments and his opinions about his wife and women in general: he is not described by physical traits except to say he is "under forty." This supports the psychological structure of the story. His social...
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