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The Lady with the Pet Dog

by Anton Chekhov

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How do you interpret the closing paragraph of "The Lady With The Dog" by Chekhov?

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In the closing paragraph of "The Lady With the Pet Dog," Chekhov paints a picture of two people who are committed to each other, but who also realize that they must work hard to overcome many obstacles before they can be together.

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Anton Chekov's story, "The Lady With the Pet Dog," describes two people who are presented with a serious dilemma.

The last paragraph reads as follows:

And it seemed as though in a little while the solution would be found, and then a new and splendid life would begin; and it...

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was clear to both of them that they had still a long, long road before them, and that the most complicated and difficult part of it was only just beginning.

Anna and Gurov are married, but not to each other. Neither of them is happy in his/her marriage. Gurov first sees Anna on a vacation, and believes it would be nice to have a meaningless fling. Eventually they do, but it means nothing to Gurov, something of a shallow and egotistical man, caring little for the feelings of women. Anna is saddened by their brief interlude, fearing he will think ill of her.

When they separate, Gurov assumes the relationship is at an end. However, he finds that he cannot forget her and finds her in her home town, seeing her at the opera, which throws her into a panic. She agrees to find him in Moscow.

By this time, for the first time in his life, Gurov has fallen in love, and is driven to distraction by his desire to see her.

By the time we reach the last paragraph, we are aware of how these two people feel about each other. They know they cannot see each other unless they do so secretly, but bewail the fact that they must live a life in this kind of "bondage."

The last paragraph indicates that they are both hopeful that they will eventually find the answer to this dilemma. They realize that difficulties will lie in their path, and the journey to happiness will take a long time.

It may be that these two people are committed enough to each other that they will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to be together. On the other hand, perhaps they act like young lovers who see love and hope in each moment spent together, with no clear appreciation of how difficult the obstacles before them may be.

Either way, Chekov leaves the reader with the sense that Anna and Gurov are committed to find a way to make their relationship work...some day.

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