“How could they be free from this intolerable bondage?”
In both the story of The lady with the dog by Anton Chekhov and in the movie Unfaithful by Adrian Lyne we see a couple of people who are living a double life. They are attached to each other and not to the person who they choose to marry. In the story of The Lady with the Dog, Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov falls in love with a mysterious woman who is visiting from out of town. Although he is married he can’t get her out his mind. In the 2002 movie Unfaithful, a similar story unfolds except that in this case the woman in the story, Connie (Diane Lane), is the one who is married and not from that part of town. In both stories we see people who are looking for comfort and love from a place outside of their home.
The Lady with the Dog is the story of a mysterious woman name Anna Sergeyevna who visits Yalta along with her little dog. She is alone with no husband and she is beautiful. Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov is an unhappy man who is unfaithful to his wife. He considered her “unintelligent, narrow, inelegant” (Pg.1) but he was also afraid of her and disliked being home. He also had a very low standard for woman. He thought of then as the “lower race” (Pg. 1) but was somehow attracted to them. He felt at ease with women and knew how to speak to them, with men he was a different person and he was boring. He seem to go back and forth with his thoughts about woman. He would see them as beautiful and sleep with them but then would find a flaw to define them as. When he met the Lady with the Dog, he was dining in the gardens alone and although he spend most of the night thinking of her he told himself, “there’s something pathetic about her, anyway.” (Pg. 2) Regardless of the fact that she was married and so was he, they met every evening. She tells him of her sadness with her husband but somehow she is still skeptical about cheating on him, “It’s wrong, you will be the first to despise me now.”
In the 2002 movie Unfaithful, the main character Connie is a suburban housewife who comes out into the city one day to run a few errands. It is a windy day and after dropping her things because of the wind she comes across this beautiful younger man who helps her. He invites her upstairs and she discovers that he is fascinating and the chemistry between them is just inevitable. Unlike the story of The Lady with the Dog, Connie thinks of herself as being happy in her marriage and is not looking for company but she realizes after seeing this mystery man a few times that she is lonely and bore and she starts this affair. She travels daily into the city to see him and have lunch with him. They have sex in public places in mid daylight and she seems to be breaking all the rules that she would had never done with her husband. She felt a sense of sexual belonging with this strange man.
The woman in the movie, Connie and Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov have in common many things. They are both marry, they have children and they are looking for companion in intimacy. Anna Sergeyevna and Connie also have a few things in common, they travel away from home to see these men who they are being unfaithful with. They both have a sense of guilt as well when it comes to what they are doing. In the beginning, they hesitate and even leave because they think of it as being wrong but in the end temptation wins. In the movie, Connie’s husband is always at work in the office and her son is in school all day. She has plenty of time to go to the city and meet with her lover until it’s time for the family to come home. Anna Sergeyevna’s husband is back home working but she doesn’t nowhere and doesn’t seem to care much for him.
In the story, The Lady with the Dog, Anna and Dmitri did not care at all for their spouses but did care a great deal for each other, I think they felt in love. In the movie, Unfaithful, Connie does love her husband and her son and does care for them but the man she met is giving her something her body is missing and that is intimacy. The women in these stories are looking for a way to live their lives free of this intolerable bondage. Connie by freeing herself sexually and Anna by freeing herself from and unhappy marriage. Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov wants to also free himself from his wife and goes after the woman in loves.