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

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In Anton Chekhov's "Lady with the Pet Dog" and Joyce Carol Oates's version of the short story of the same title, both authors wrote from different perspectives but retained the use of the third-person point of view. Chekhov's perspective was through the male character's point of view, while Oates's perspective was through the female character's point of view. Chekhov focuses on the male lover, Gurov, and his thoughts on his affair with a woman named Anna. Similarly, Oates focuses on Anna's emotions and state of being on her affair with Gurov. However, Chekhov's point of view on Gurov's affair was seen as positive and accepted with no feelings of guilt or shame for his actions; while Oates's point of view on Anna's affair was negative …show more content…
He would glance at her with small cautious smile and she felt a declaration of shame between them" (Oates, 184). Anna's intentions were not to have an affair or be unfaithful to her husband. But when she met him, "the sensation between them was intense, exhausting. She thought this man was her savior…and yet it was absurd to think this. No person could save another. So she drew back from him and releases him" (Oates, 184). Oates's view seemed very real and did not approve of unfaithfulness while Chekhov's view seemed like affairs are normal and that there was no wrong doing. Anna "knew [Gurov] did not love her, and she did not love him; he was a man…like all men, walking away, free to walk away, free to have his own thoughts, free to envision her body, all the secrets of her body" (Oates, 191). Anna experiences shame while Gurov seem to experience no remorse for his unfaithfulness.

Unlike Gurov, Anna showed signs of vulnerability or signs of weakness with her affair with him. Gurov "call [women] what he pleased, and yet he could not have lived without 'the inferior race'" (Chekhov, 170). Gurov was a chauvinist and did not care about the women he encountered. He neglects their feelings and dispose of them at his will. His thoughts are just to conquer them, with no commitment. "Every 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"

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