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Realistic Love Essay

1094 words - 5 pages

Realistic Love
Love is as fundamental an element of life as of literature. Many would expect love to be noble and moral, but it does take less conventional forms in reality because love is involuntary and, like human nature, cannot be controlled. Different types of love may enlighten or consume people, yet it is beyond doubt that the beauty of love lies in its inevitable power of changing people. And the complexity brought by reality does not impact any of it. In “The Lady with The Little Dog” by Anton Chekhov, the extramarital love between Gurov and Anna is exhibited by the transformation of Gurov in terms of his perspective about women and about life.
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The reader is given a third-person narration that is limited to Dmitry Dmitrich Gurov’s perspective so Anna, a young, bored, married woman in Yalta for the first time, is seen mostly from the outside until “her fall”(365), when she bursts out with a passionate fit of remorse. Only then does the reader gets a glimpse of her inner life. Also trapped in a suffocating marriage, Anna–like Gurov–is also a creature of contradictions. She wants to be honest and pure, but she also craves excitement and adventure. Anna wants to experience more of life, “To live, to live”(366). After the first sexual encounter with Gurov, Anna starts opening up to Gurov agitatedly. However, instead of paying due attention to Anna, Gurov blatantly and insensitively “cut himself a slice” of a watermelon and “unhurriedly began to eat it”(365), contrasting starkly with his love-driven change of attitude toward women, “he went up to her and took her by the shoulders to caress her, to make a joke”, and “felt compassion for this life[Anna]”(375).
When Anna leaves Yalta, the affair seems to have concluded, as up to this point, Gurov has only sought the emotional excitement of a fling, which is what has been suggested all along–Gurov has never felt love. The affair with Anna was merely another “episode or adventure in his life.” The leaving of Anna leaves him “touched, saddened, and slightly remorseful” (368) but certainly not heartbroken. Returning to Moscow, he expects his memory about Anna to be gone in a month.
Now comes the climax of the story. Returning to his daily routine in Moscow, Gurov gradually realizes he is in love with Anna. His separation with Anna has become intolerable. His family leaves him mostly irritated or bored. He even hates the vulgar male world he inhabits–“frenzied card-playing, gluttony, drunkenness, constant talk about the same thing”(370). The mention of “talk” is not unimportant. It implies that Gurov’s loneliness is not only about sex, but also about the agonizing longing for someone he can talk to meaningfully about his life. He now resolves to visit Anna in her hometown–the city of S. Gurov found her house and noticed the fence around it. The fence is a symbol of what...

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