Anton Chekhov’s The Lady with the Dog

Satisfactory Essays
A fantasy can be as simple as skydiving, or as complex as walking on the Moon. It can be said that most people have a fantasy of some fashion. Moreover, nearly everyone aspires to live out his or her fantasy at some point in time. Both Paul, an adolescent, in Willa Cather’s “Paul’s case,” (1905) and Dmitri Gurov, a middle aged man, in Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Dog,” (1899) have lives that are against their wishes which urges them to live out their fantasies. The places where they live, and the authoritative figures in their life, though, unfortunately prevent them from permanently achieving their dreams. Both characters in these short stories demonstrate that where a person comes from is where he or she will return, although momentarily a fantasy world can be obtained.

Both of these characters live in a world that they find unfavorable; however, both long to live out their fantasies despite their location. In “Paul’s Case,” Paul misbehaves in school and expresses a strong dislike towards his home life. For example, while returning home after working as an usher at Carnegie Hall, he describes his home and living quarters as “…his ugly sleeping chamber; the cold bathroom with the grimy zinc tub, the cracked mirror, the dripping spigots…” (494). However, on the other hand, he is able to “lose himself” while admiring artwork and music (491). The bedroom typically is seen as a sanctuary for a young adolescent, a place where he or she can be whatever he or she desires, but in Paul’s situation, it is portrayed as a miserable prison where he feels uncomfortable. He has a desire to be a part of the world in which participation in the arts is favorable. Similar to Paul, Anton Chekov’s character, Dmitri Gurov desires to live out his fantasies of love. Gurov becomes interested in this woman named Anna Sergeyevna, however, the only thing in common between them is that they are both are spending time in Yalta. Gurov lives in Moscow and Sergeyevna lives in a location that is referred to as “S___” (514). Despite the fact that he and she live in separate cities, Gurov insists on pursuing an affair with Sergeyevna. However, he knows that, “…ever affair which at first seems a light and charming adventure inevitably grows into a whole problem of extreme complexity, and in the end a painful situation is created” (513).
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