Analysis of “The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhov


Summary of “The Lady with the Dog”

“The Lady with the Dog” is a short story penned by Anton Chekhov in 1899. The story is about a man named Dmitry Gurov and a woman named Anna Sergeyevna who embark on a passionate affair, despite the societal conventions that prohibit their love.

Dmitry is a middle-aged man who is disillusioned with his life and seeks excitement through romantic affairs. Anna is a young woman from a well-to-do family who is married to a wealthy banker but feels trapped in her loveless marriage. The two meet while vacationing in Yalta and begin an affair, even though Dmitry knows that Anna is married.

Despite the danger of their relationship being discovered, Dmitry and Anna continue to meet, and their affair intensifies. They spend time together talking, exploring the town, and having romantic walks. However, despite their happiness, they both acknowledge that their relationship is unsustainable, given their respective social status and the fact that they live in different cities.

However, Dmitry and Anna cannot resist each other, and their love only grows. They both begin to question society’s conventions and the obligations placed upon them. They become lost in their love for each other, despite knowing it is only temporary.

Eventually, Dmitry and Anna must part ways, and both are left feeling empty and heartbroken. Dmitry returns to Moscow, where he tries to forget about Anna and return to his old life. He tries to focus on work but finds that he cannot shake the feeling of emptiness and longing for Anna. Anna returns to her husband, but she, too, can forget about Dmitry and their passionate love affair.

Ultimately, Dmitry and Anna find their way back to each other, and their love is reignited. They both realize that they are willing to risk everything to be together and that their love is more important than the conventions of society. The two begin a new life together, and the story ends with them walking arm in arm, with their pet dog trotting beside them.

Major Themes in “The Lady with the Dog”

The Lady with the Dog by Anton Chekhov is a short story that explores several themes, including love, infidelity, social class, and the human condition. This story reflects Russian society’s changing attitudes and values during the late 19th century and is considered a masterpiece of modern short story writing.

One of the primary themes of the story is love. The story explores the theme of love uniquely and unconventionally. The main character, Dmitry Gurov, is a wealthy, middle-aged man who has been married for several years and has children, but he is not happy in his marriage. He meets a young woman, Anna Sergeyevna, who is also married and unhappy in her relationship. Even though they are both in relationships, they find themselves drawn to each other and fall in love. This love is intense, passionate, and all-consuming. The two share a deep connection, but their passion is also complicated because they are married.

Another theme in The Lady with the Dog is infidelity. This theme is closely related to the theme of love, as the two characters engage in an affair that is both thrilling and dangerous. They are aware of the consequences of their actions but cannot resist the urge to be together. The story explores the idea that people are not always faithful to the people they love and that infidelity can have far-reaching consequences.

Social class is another important theme of the story. The main characters come from different social backgrounds, with Dmitry being a wealthy man and Anna being from a lower-class family. This social divide creates a barrier and tension in their relationship. The story explores the idea that social class can significantly impact people’s lives and create difficult obstacles.

The human condition is also explored in “The Lady with the Dog.” The characters in this story are searching for meaning and purpose in their lives and trying to find happiness. Dmitry is a man who has everything but is still not satisfied, while Anna is searching for a connection that she has been missing. This story highlights that people are all searching for something and that this search for meaning and purpose is a universal human experience.


In conclusion, “The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhov is a complex and multifaceted story that explores several important themes. The themes of love, infidelity, social class, and the human condition are woven together to create a rich and compelling narrative. This story is a timeless masterpiece that will continue to be relevant and meaningful to readers for generations.

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