One of the pieces I enjoyed reading the most was, “The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhov. I was able to connect to it from the beginning because Chekhov was a prominent author at the end of the 19th century just before the formation of the Soviet Union. My parents immigrated to the US from the Soviet Union, so it was nice to learn about an author from Russia. Many of the works I’ve read throughout my education have been American or from predominantly western European countries such as Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. Russian culture is completely differently than western Europe, so it was definitely cool to learn more about Chekhov and his work.
Also, I really connected to the underlying theme of the story. Not to give away the whole plot, but the main character Dmitri Gurov has a wife and kids but isn’t happy and has many affairs. One day he is vacationing in Yalta and meets Anna Sergeyevna. He decided to pursue Anna and one thing leads to another he ends up falling in love with her. The main take away I got was that societal norms that have been placed on us to get married, have kids, etc. is the happily ever after were all supposed to want, but that doesn’t necessary mean we’ll end up happy. Just because this is society’s way of accepting normal, doesn’t mean that’s how it should be for everyone. In addition to this, it shows how man has conflicting opinions. He has a wife, but he has the urge to be with other women. I think Chekhov emphasizes this normal human feeling that men have urges and avoiding them only hurts the person yourself. I am in no way condoning cheating, but I do appreciate that this topic is at the forefront of Chekhov’s work because than it becomes a topic of discussion. He brings abut prevalent issues even in society today. As a reader I am able to connect to the characters and understand what Gurov is going through. I am not married and don’t have kids, but society’s pressures me in other way when it comes to having to go to school, getting a god job in corporate America is all part of the “machine” that we live in today. I think what makes it a great work and a timeless piece is that even in 200 years it will still be relevant. It is not about money, cars, or any material things. It is about human interaction and connection and no matter what era we’re in, that will always be the most important thing. I also think that even though I connected with this text a lot it really helped emphasize what I value and believe when it comes to love, marriage, and how we treat others. It didn’t change my feelings it solidified them even more. I do think that great works should challenge the way you think and go outside your comfort zone and it did in terms of philosophies on life.
Overall, I think it’s a great piece and would recommend it to anyone to read. It is short enough where you won’t get tired reading it, but long enough to keep you interested until the end. I also like, the ending of the story, I won’t give away, but it definitely makes you think.