illustration of a man looking out a window at a woman in a hat and dress walking her little dog

The Lady with the Pet Dog

by Anton Chekhov

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What is the purpose of the story "The Lady with the Dog"?

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I believe that Chekhov wanted to show that a casual flirtation motivated mainly by boredom could lead to the most serious consequences. The moral of the story is that people should not use other people for pleasure or diversion. Chekhov's story has been imitated in motion pictures at least twice. One movie is Fatal Attraction (1987), starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. An earlier movie was Play Misty for Me (1971), starring Clint Eastwood. There are many possible variations on the theme of Chekhov's story. In real life there are many possible tragedies resulting from intimate encounters between two people when one or both are not motivated by sincere affection and mutual respect.

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