The tone is one of longing and of angst until the end of the story, when both of the main characters realize that they must find a way to be together (Gurov and Anna) and that they are completely and utterly in love. They are both married, however, but know they cannot continue to stay in their loveless marriages. Through the beginning and middle of the work, Gurov meets Anna and has a physical and emotional relationship with her. He cannot get her off of his mind once they return home and he finds himself going to "spy" on her. He longs for her and cannot rid himself of the thoughts he has for her and neither can she. They continue to see each other for several months before finally making the decision to be together no matter what it takes.
i think it's unrealistic to assume that they're both going to leave their marriages and be together, and that they're truly in love.
Come on, he has a deep seeded hatred of women and she's a naive young woman who doesn't see any of that, convinces herself otherwise.
Not to mention the dark foreshadowing midway into the story: "..the monotonous muffled sound of the sea that rose from below spoke of the peace, the eternal sleep awaiting us..."
I think it's a shallow assumption to believe that this womanizer, this man that continually uses and discards women, has fallen in love, has finally found the woman that will forever fulfill him. Additionally, SHE LEFT HIM. Such a man would more likely have the need to leave her, not the other way around.
There is even a paragraph at the very end that reads "...he suddently recalled how when he had seen anna sergeyevna off at the station he had said to himself that all was over between them and that they would never meet again. But how distant the end still was!"
He sees an end. I believe she is yet another conquest. The tone is one of listlessness.