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Structure in The Lady With the Pet Dog by Joyce Carol Oates Essay

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Often, the circumstances of a marriage can leave the people involved feeling empty and unloved. These feelings of hopelessness can lead people to make uncharacteristic choices. Adultery, even in a marriage without love, can have a dramatic effect on the people involved. For the adulterous partner, the feelings of guilt and anxiety can often lead to overwhelming confusion. The short story "The Lady with the Pet Dog" by Oates, shows how the act of cheating creates confusion in the mind of the main character thorough use of an unchronological structure, and unusual character development.
First, the structure of the story reflects Anna's state of mind. The events in the story seem to take place with a total disregard for timekeeping. The opening sequence occurs when Anna sees a familiar face at the theater. This is her second encounter with the man, who is her lover, and she is immediately overwhelmed with a feeling of sickness. Yet, when she goes home her mind passes over him while she is with her husband and it is made apparent that the man she saw was at one time her love...


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