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Anton Chekhov's and Joyce Oates' The Lady with the Dog Essay

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Though the similarities and differences of characterization in Chekhov and Oates’s different versions of “The Lady with the Pet Dog” are evident, the purpose only becomes clear for the reader when the two versions are read and compared. The stories have different settings, but the characters in the story remain the same. There is Anna, Dmitry, and their families. Although their families are mentioned, each member remains without any description and therefore they begin to seem almost unimportant.

Both Anton Chekhov and Joyce Oates chose to tell the story using a third-person narrator. This is one of the most important aspects of the characterization because if other characters were allowed to appear more within either story, the reader would have more than likely had a different view of their affair. For example, if Oates had allowed the reader to know Anna’s husband more intimately and definitely if the reader could read his thoughts, we may have seen the affair as dirty. We only see him trying to make love to her in an almost impersonal way. They never really cominicate, and his love for her is never shown with in the story, so the reader has no real reason to sympathize with him. Instead, Anna’s guilt seems sufficient, and her desire to be else where allows the reader to feels sorry for her and the fact that this love is what she perceives as her fate, we give her the sympathy and no longer see this affair as necessarily wrong.

Chekhov uses this same type persuasi...


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