3. Is there a moral to the story or a lesson to be learned? How can you tell?
There are many lessons to be learned from Anton Chekhov’s The Lady With The Dog. Most of the lessons are somewhat cliché and can be applied not just to relationships, but with everyday life. One of the biggest lessons that Chekhov tries to get across is of life’s beauty, where life can be truly beautiful if you allow it to be. “Gurov thought how in reality everything is beautiful in this world when one reflects: everything except what we think or do ourselves when we forget our human dignity and the higher aims of our existence.” Gurov is taking in nature with his woman and makes the realization that everything is beautiful until we get in the way of ourselves. There’s a cliché that new love is beautiful and time is what makes it ugly. This proves to be true in most situations. Gurov and Anna start out with not exactly a storybook beginning, but as they spend more time with each other they grow more and more fond of each other. Before she departs to go back home, her insecurities get the best of her and almost make the worst of their relationship as she worries that Gurov does not think highly of her.
Another lesson to be learned is that sometimes you have to take chances for what you really want. Gurov could have let his fear of the unexpected render him unhappy as he lived at home with the wife he despised and the children he grew sick of. Instead, he took the biggest chance and flew to where Anna lived. It was the courage that he showed that allowed him to find her at the theatre opening and find out how Anna really felt. “I will come and see you in Moscow. I have never been happy; I am miserable now, and I never, never shall be happy, never! Don’t make me suffer still more! I swear I’ll come to Moscow. But now let us part.” If he did not exhibit such courage, he would never have known that this was how she felt and he would have been stuck at home wondering about the endless possibilities of what could have been and he would have been torturing himself as he went over it in his mind. Another lesson that could be found in this is that if you say how you feel and what you are thinking without always worrying about the consequences or how someone else feels, you will get what you want. Communication is key in relationships especially relationship building. If you hide how you feel, you will always be disappointed because only you know how you feel and no one can make it better.
A final lesson to the story is nothing is set in stone. Everything in life can change as nothing lasts forever. Anna’s relationship with her husband, as well as Gurov’s relationship with his wife, are both on their last legs. Even Gurov changed during the story. At first he was a womanizer, who despised women and only enjoyed the chase. In the end, it was the catch of his chase, the lady with the dog, that completely changed him. Even as an older man, twice as old as Anna, Gurov was able to fall in love for the first time and go through a change in his way of thinking, proving that old dogs can learn new tricks. I took all of these lessons from the story because the lessons or the traits shown in the lessons led the two characters to their happiness.