The Lady with the Pet Dog

by Joyce Carol Oates

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The author explains this story from a third-person omniscient point of view. The author reveals the thoughts, emotions, and actions of the main character, Anna, to the reader. As one reads the story, they realize that Anna is unhappy in her current marriage; therefore, she decides to have an affair. Her lover is also married, but he cannot leave his wife. Anna ends up feeling lost and suicidal because she knows that the affair cannot be anything more, and she has to go back to her rocky marriage.

In addition, the story is not told in a chronological order; this has the effect of piquing the reader's curiosity and desire to read more and understand the story. The events begin in the future in the first chapter, then they go back again to the past, while still maintaining some elements of the future in the second chapter. Finally, the entire story is retold from the beginning in the final chapter, so that the reader can understand the events in chapter 1 and 2.

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