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The brilliance of Chekhovs writing cannot be overstated.In The Lady with the Little Dog there is an untypical depth to the relationship between Anna and Dmitri.Everything that he [Gurov] found important, interesting, necessary, in which he was sincere and did not deceive himself, which constituted the core of his life, occurred in secret from others (Chekhov 154).
Of Anna, Chekhov writes, a young woman, not very tall, blond, in a beret, walking along the embankment; behind her ran a white spitz (Chekhov 144).
Of Dmitri he comments, Gurov, who had already spent two weeks in Yaltabegan to take an interest in new faces (Chekhov 144).
While the plot itself may be little more than that of a soap opera, the development and depth to which the characters are taken is far beyond any afternoon television program.
As Richard Ford says, Chekhov concentrates [his] narrative attentions not on the conventional hot spots sex, deceit, and what happens at the end but rather, by its precision, pacing, and decisions about what to tell, it directs our interest toward those flatter terrains of a love affair where we, being conventional souls, might overlook something important (871).
Chekhovs ability to define character and produce an effect in the reader is not limited only to the description and action provided in the story.
He expertly weaves location and setting into the development of theme.
Although Chekhovs story is filled with complex issues of moral struggle and turmoil, it is a story we can all relate to.
Everyone faces difficult decisions in life, and Chekhov brings the inner mayhem to light.
He outwardly proclaims extreme chauvinism towards women, but we learn that in the company of men he was bored, ill at ease, with them he was taciturn and cold, but when he was among women, he felt himself free and knew what to talk about with them and how to behave; and he was at ease even being silent with them (Chekhov 144).
Through this description, Dmitri gains a soul and personality.