The Lady with the Pet Dog by Anton Chekhov

The Lady with the Pet Dog book cover
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What happens in The Lady with the Pet Dog?

In "The Lady with the Pet Dog," Dmitry Gurov meets a lovely woman named Anna at a seaside hotel. Though Gurov is a contemptuous, disagreeable character, he falls in love with Anna, and they have an affair. Upon his return to Moscow, Gurov assumes that he will forget Anna. When he doesn't, he seeks her out, and they find modest happiness together.

  • Alone on holiday, Gurov meets a shy gentlewoman named Anna. He approaches her first by petting her dog, then takes a long walk with her on the pier.

  • Despite his contemptuous and sexist attitude toward all women, Gurov falls in love with Anna, and they have an affair. At the end of the summer, they part ways.

  • In Moscow, Gurov assumes that he'll forget about Anna. He doesn't, and finally seeks her out in her town's theatre. They rekindle their love and find some happiness together. 

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Summary

The story begins at a resort in Yalta. Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov is a married Moscow banker on holiday. He notices a younger, attractive woman with a Pomeranian; she, too is a solo traveler on vacation.

Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov approaches the woman to begin an affair, something he has done many times. He and his wife have children, but he is unfulfilled in the marriage and suffers no guilt as a philanderer.

Anna Sergeyevna, the woman with the pet dog, is also in an unfulfilling marriage; hers is to a much older man. However, once she begins the affair with Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov, she is troubled with complicated feelings of guilt and shame mixed with love and desire for Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov. When she is called home because her husband is having health problems, the lovers part company, and Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov writes off their affair as another ordinary dalliance.

However, Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov finds that upon his return to Moscow, he often thinks about Anna Sergeyevna. He travels to her city, stakes out her home, and finds a way to run into her in a theater. Their connection is still strong, and Anna Sergeyevna soon begins traveling to meet him in secret in Moscow.

The lovers become devoted to one another, and their affair turns into a genuinely loving relationship. As the story ends, they are in a conversation about how they need to find a way to be together permanently, but is clear that they understand that, in 19th-century Russia, this will be difficult.

Summary

The story involves a love affair between two married people: Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov and Anna Sergeyevna. Both are unhappily married, and a chance meeting inspires an unlikely romance between the two.

Gurov is married to a woman he considers unintelligent, narrow-minded, and dogmatic; he and his wife have a twelve-year-old daughter and two school-aged sons. Meanwhile, Anna is married to a man who shares little of his life with her. She feels trapped and unhappy.

At the beginning of the story, we learn that Gurov and Anna are both vacationing in Yalta without their spouses. Gurov first notices Anna because of her white Pomeranian dog, who...

(The entire section is 2,299 words.)