2. This story is quite muted and understated for a story about a love affair. In what ways is it muted and understated? Why do you think that is?
In The lady with the dog, Anton Chekhov is discrete about Anna and Gurov’s love affair. Unlike other types of love stories involving affairs and explicit love scenes, Chekhov does not describe in depth romantic physical actions between Anna and Gurov. Without details, Anna and Gurov affair is considered to be muted or vague. In the beginning of the story, Gurov is described as an unfaithful man towards his wife in several occasions. “When he was company of women he felt free and knew what to say to them and how to behave; and he was at ease with them even when he was silent,” portrays him as a player (Chekhov, 1). Gurov, “almost always spoke ill of women, and when they were talked about in his presence, used to call them “the lower race”” (Chekhov, 1). It seems as if Gurov does not care for women at all displaying to be a male chauvinist.
All of that changed when he saw Anna for the first time. “A romance with an unknown woman, whose name he did not know, suddenly took possession of him,” (Chekhov, 2). Anna and Gurov started going out on dates but do not have long conversations, except when she spoke to him about her unhappy life. “Gurov felt bored already, listening to her,” and he pretty much lets her continue with her monologue. He believes Anna is like any other woman he has been with. So far their love affair is muted. As days go by they create a bond but are discrete. Gurov begins to show more physical affection towards Anna in public. Anna decides to leave Yalta and when she does, Gurov cannot live without her. He goes after her and when they see each other; their feelings are strong but are hidden for the public and the reader.
Anna and Gurov are both married and are forbidden to be together yet they have an affair. Their relationship cannot be displayed because society will judge them. Putting that all aside I feel Gurov cares and loves Anna for her naïve attitude yet he does not want to involve himself sentimentally in order to protect Anna’s feelings. Anna’s love for Gurov came natural and was not forced. She craved for his attention and love but at the same time resisted contact with him for respect towards her husband. Both Anna and Gurov will have to divorce in order to have a more cliché romantic passionate love. Until then their love connection will exist in silence.
1. What are some details in the story that stood out to you most? What kinds of details does Chekhov use? Why?
Anton Chekhov uses a particular writing style that involves a lot of description in his short story titled The Lady with the Dog. In my opinion it gives his writing more depth and allows for great character development. Chekhov uses many details to build up the characters in order to create deep emotional connections with each other. He also uses these details to link the personalities of the characters with their actions
What really stood out to me was the beginning of the story where the main characters were introduced. First of all, the lady with the dog, who turned out to be a young woman visiting Yalta. This lady was described to be peculiar, because no one knew of her and she was always seen wearing a beret and with a dog. Later on in the story, she was given a name, which was Anna Sergeyevna. she was married and was an outsider. When she first encounters Gurov at the garden she seemed fragile and innocent, but then when she involved herself with Gurov up to the point where she became unfaithful to her husband, she changed. Gurov knew that there was more to her than what she appeared to be, with that curiosity he discovered her underlying reason for her unhappiness. “Anna Sergeyevna was touching; there was about her the purity of a good, simple woman who had seen little of life. The solitary candle burning on the table threw a faint light on her face, yet it was clear that she was very unhappy”, this quote accurately describes her inner feelings. These sort of details that Chekhov makes are crucial, because they mirror the emotions of Anna, as well as creating a mysterious side to her, which engages the reader and allows them to question what is going to happen.
I think that the most interesting character in the story is Dmitritch Gurov, because throughout the story he changes. At first he’s introduced as a man who is fairly fond of new visitors, which is illustrated by this quote, “Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov, who had by then been a fortnight at Yalta, and so was fairly at home there, had begun to take an interest in new arrivals.” Then he is described through his family and his past as having married young and currently fathering a 12 year old daughter and 2 sons. However, his wife is another important character whose personality makes Gurov who he is, a womanizer. Gurovs wife is quite a scholar, she is intelligent and well established, but Gurov doesn’t like that about her. He is often unfaithful to her and he also claims that he is more comfortable around women than around men; which is funny, because he sees women as “the lower race”. When he meets Anna his personality changes slowly, but dramatically. At first Gurov saw Anna as a possible woman he wanted to be with, however the more he knew about her the more mystery he saw behind her smile. After Anna returns to her home town he feels empty, it takes him a while to realize that he’s in love with her. He shifts from a man who has no care for women other than for his personal gain, into a man who has fallen for a woman who is as lost as he is.
Chekhov uses a lot of details from the past to kind of explain how the characters are and what exactly they’re feeling. He also uses them to exert a sort of dull, but realistic vibe to the story. It feels almost natural to have these characters meet and discover themselves through each other and make them question their purpose and happiness. Chekcov did this by conveying past emotions as experience in order to show that nothing can change the past, but by also showing that the future is very unclear. This story is very deep and it was because of the detail in the emotions, it makes the story very lifelike.
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.
“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.
“Love is a feeling, marriage is a contract, and relationships are work” by Lori Gordon.
The quote above pretty much summons the love life of the characters I am about to compare and contrast. When comparing the movie of “The Great Gatsby” directed Jack Clayton (1974 version) with the story of “The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhov, we see the similarities and the impediment from free love that our characters represent. In “The Great Gatsby” we have Tom Buchanan, which is married to Daisy Buchanan but has an affair with Myrtle Wilson, which is married to George Wilson. Our couple from the story of “The Lady with the Dog” is Dmitri Gurov married to Ms. Gurov but is having an affair with Anna Sergeyevna, which is also married.
“Neither of them can stand the person they’re married” its what Myrtle friend’s tells Nick Carraway, Daisy’s cousin. He had gone to a small party that Tom had invited him to come to meet his “girl”(The Great Gatsby). Their love for each other was so passionate that they could not keep it a secret from close ones, it was only a secret kept from their respective partners. “Myrtle is being living over that garage for 11 years now and Tom is the first Swedish she has ever had”(The Great Gatsby). Myrtle had a long time with her husband, but that fever, that heat one feels when one is in love had faded away among them, she now how that fever for Tom.
In the first two parts of this story where Dmitri and Ana meet and get to spend time with each other the reader can’t really tell if they are falling in love or if this will be just an adventure. But after part three is when the reader realizes of the depth of this forbidden love. “He was tormented by an intense desire to confide his memories to some one” (The Lady with the Dog, part III). Unlike Tom from “The Great Gatsby”, Dmitri, even though he felt the urge to tell someone about the love he felt for Ana neither he nor she would say a word about their feelings to anyone. Eventually Dmitri “couldn’t resist saying” (The Lady with the Dog, part III). He told an official about what had happened to him. After fantasizing with Ana for so long he decides to go see her. After a brief talk they had, she agreed to go visit him. She starts visiting him and in secrecy from their partners they met and consume their love. They finally come to the conclusion that they don’t want to be in secret anymore, but that’s another story.
Both of our couples were crazy in love more but love is crazy itself. Tom and Myrtle had it going on for a while so it was probably not going anywhere. Social status seemed to play a big role and it seemed to dictate how far could love go. Dmitri and Ana was a more fruitful but still unfair kind of relationship to their partners. They in a way were more subject to have a relationship since they shared equal social status.
Love it’s a complicated feeling we all have to deal with some way or another. One can’t help it, when it hits you, it hits you. Social status we can control and if our love ones don’t fit, in the name of love that can be arrange, in odd, unfair, sometimes fair ways but love always finds it way.
Reminders about final presentations:
*Your presentation should cover these topics: a.) your argument (what is it?); b.) how you proved it; c.) why you chose this argument and why you think it is so interesting (get your classmates to think it’s interesting, too).
*The presentation should be around 5 minutes.
*Make it as creative as you’d like. That said, this is still an oral presentation and I want to make sure each of you goes up and actually talks and presents ideas orally. So, be creative but also remember you need to be talking for at least a majority of the time. For example, if you chose to show a clip, you need to then analyze it, telling us what is interesting about it, how it relates to/proves your argument, etc.
*If you have any multimedia components to your presentation, come at least 10 minutes early so we can get it all set up on the computer before class begins.
Dec 9th: Michael, Alexander, Casey, Diana, Kevin, Timothy, Harrinson, Nicole, Nicholas, Eleana, Jesselyn, Frank
Dec 11th: Brandon, Rachel, Rasel, Kathy, Kyle, Alan, Wilson, Kuba, Avaz, Silvana, Shannen, Galacy, Xiuling, Saul
Prompt: Compare Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 to Petrarch’s Sonnet 90. What kind of love are these poems about? How do the narrators of the poems view love, and their beloved, similarly and differently? So what?
Petrarch’s Sonnet 90 and Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 are nothing like each other. Whereas the narrator in Sonnet 90 uses fantasy to describe love, the narrator in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 describes love in a more realistic way. The two sonnets are so different that the narrator in Shakespeare’s sonnet almost appears sarcastic and offensive in the description of the lover. Petrarch’s sonnet is less sarcastic but is exaggerated nonetheless. Despite these differences, the two poems are linked together by the common theme of love in which the narrators describe people whom they loved.
The only similarity between Petrarch’s Sonnet 90 and Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 is the common theme of love. Besides that, the tone and description are very different. The two narrators talk about their lovers and present two contrasting opinions. The narrator from Sonnet 90 reminisces into the past when everything about the lover is idealized. From her eyes being “brighter than the radiant west” (Petrarch 3) to the way she walks being like “angelic progress” (10), the narrator from Petrarch’s sonnet tells the reader about how much he admires his lover’s beauty.
In sharp contrast to Petrarch’s sonnet, Shakespeare presents a narrator in Sonnet 130 who doesn’t care about his lover’s beauty. The narrator refers to his lover as his “mistress” (Shakespeare 1), a derogatory term to use on the person he loves. The narrator then proceeds to describe her physical traits as negatively as possible. He describes his lover’s eyes as “nothing like the sun” (1) and how “when she walks, treads on the ground” (12). Clearly, the speaker from Sonnet 130 is either very realistic or he’s insulting his own lover in a sarcastic manner.
The two sonnets offer two different thinkers and their contrasting perceptions on love. On the one hand, the narrator in Petrarch’s sonnet exaggerates the realities of love, in which he idealizes the lover by embellishing her with complements of her physical features, such as her eyes and the way she walks. Unlike this narrator, the one in Shakespeare’s sonnet uses regular and almost insulting terms to describe his lover, in both the unexaggerated description of her eyes and in the way she walks, where’s she’s on the ground and not somewhere else in the realms of dream land.
Sonnet 18 and Sonnet 130 written by Shakespeare, touch upon the moral of a popular saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, albeit a little differently. Instantaneously, as I was carefully reading the sonnets and setting up my Fantasy Football (FF) team for the week, it came to me that the major ideas of the sonnets correspond to ways of a fantasy football fanatic in their league.
In Sonnet 18, Shakespeare claims that unlike natures constant change of appeal, his lover will be eternally beautiful through his words. In this case, FF can be compared to nature because a FF team could change as easily as the weather, there are many players to choose from that can have a significant points total in any given week. Nature cannot be perfect and beautiful all the time, “And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d” (Sonnet 18), in the same way that a player cannot be perfect in performance because of injury or whatever the case may be. Interestingly, the last lines of Sonnet 18, “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.”, which mean that the woman’s beauty will be forever remembered through the writing, is similar to how a championship victory is cemented in the history of ones FF league.
Sonnet 130 speaks to the common problem that Shakespeare addresses directly to his fellow writers, the “false comparisons” and exaggerations of a lovers beauty. “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare, As any she belied with false compare.”, shows that Shakespeare appreciates the true beauty of the one he loves and does not need to embellish her appearance. Many FF players find themselves in the middle of an egotistic war, debating who has drafted the better team, along with countless other rebuttals to ones criticism of your fantasy team. Some back their picks with solid football knowledge and intelligence to seem smarter, just to see that proud pick fail in the upcoming week. Shakespeare pretty much told his his rival writers that he does not need to heavily boast about his girl, he lets her beauty do the talking, just how a FF team does the talking for you against your opponent who was bragging the whole entire week. Throughout the sonnet, Shakespeare may not portray a gorgeous woman, she is beautiful nonetheless but not to the extent of how other women might be written about. Same goes for ones FF team, the mediocre team may be just as good as the team full of all-stars.
1. Choose one poem and read it 3 or 4 times, and at least once out loud. Try to write a literal translation (not in poetry/verse) that gives a sense of the meaning. That literal translation will be the beginning of your post. The rest of the post should then explain what choices you made and what was difficult about doing this exercise.
Shall I compare you to a summer’s day? You are lovelier and gentler than it. Summer winds are rough and summer days are short. The sun is sometimes too hot and other times it is too dim. Everything beautiful eventually becomes ugly either by chance or like nature and the seasons, it always changes. But you are like an eternal summer; the beauty you have never fades. Even in death your beauty isn’t overshadowed “once you’re captured in my eternal verses”. As long as men can breathe or can see, this poem will live forever and you, along with it.
The first line of this sonnet is legendary as one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines. It also happens to be the easiest line to translate. The whole line is practically in modern English; only “thee” isn’t. The next three lines are pretty straight forward as well. It’s comparing the person of interest to summer; how this person is better than summer because there are rough winds during summer and summer’s duration is too short. The two lines following is where it begins to get more complicated because Shakespeare begins using metaphors. The “eye of heaven” usually will refer to two things, the moon or the sun. Since this eye of heaven is referred to as hot and has a gold complexion, I’m pretty sure it’s the sun. The next two lines were confusing too because of the lines “every fair from fair declining” or what “nature’s changing course untrimm’d” meant. I was pretty sure that “fair” meant beauty and not justice in this situation so if this fairness is declining, then it must mean that beauty is “declining” or getting ugly. When I think of “nature’s changing course”, I think of seasons and how it’s always changing consistently and it’s natural. To be untrimmed to be uncut, so the first thing I think of is a circle or loop, which makes sense with the seasons since the seasons exist in a loop, a cycle. The two lines after are more straight forever. After Shakespeare described how summer is unpleasant and how beauty is temporary, he tells us how this person of interest is unlike all of that. This person is external, the beauty he “owns” is always in his possession or immortal. The following two lines, in my opinion, is hardest to decipher. The line “Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade” is weird because death is personified to have a shade or shadow, so there’s no actually shadow anyone is walking in. I thought it was a play on words on how even if this person dies, he won’t be in death’s shadow because his beauty isn’t overshadowed. I literally just stared at the lie, “When in eternal lines to time thou growest” for 20 minutes because I was clueless as to what “to time thou growest” meant. Growest isn’t even a word in the dictionary (I tried looking it up). In addition, the way the line is structured is grammatically confusing. So I cheated and looked to sparknotes and that’s why there’s quotations in my translation because it comes directly from sparknotes. Finally the last two lines were much easier. The first of the two is in modern English so it was clear-cut. The only thing that needed figuring out in the second line is what the “this” referred to. I assumed it referred to the poem itself since in the lines before, he mentions the eternal lines, or verses, that he’s writing.