Chekhov’s famous story, “The Lady with the Dog,” ends with a…

Chekhov’s famous story, “The Lady with the Dog,” ends with an uncertain future ahead for Gurov and Anna. Write a “realistic” ending to the story (meaning no space ships or zombies are involved). You might begin, “Later that night…” or “The next [day or week]…” or “Three years later…” What happens next?



The Unresolved Ending: A Realistic Continuation of Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Dog”

Three years later, the lives of Gurov and Anna had taken unforeseen turns since their fateful encounter in Yalta. Despite their initial intentions to part ways and return to their respective lives, the powerful connection they experienced could not be ignored. Their love affair intensified and they succumbed to the irrepressible desire to be together, breaking free from the constraints of societal expectations and abandoning their previous lives.

Gurov, disenchanted with his marriage and the monotonous routine of his old life, left his wife and job, opting for a new beginning with Anna. They settled in a small coastal town, far away from the prying eyes of their former acquaintances, establishing a quiet life together.

Their days were filled with shared affections, stimulating intellectual conversations, and passionate encounters. Gurov, once known for his philandering ways, found solace in the exclusivity and depth of his relationship with Anna. The love they fostered provided a sense of fulfillment and contentment that he had never before experienced.

Anna, on the other hand, felt liberated from the oppressive expectations imposed on her as a married woman. She reveled in her newfound independence and embraced her role as Gurov’s partner in both love and life. Together, they explored their creative passions, indulged in nature’s bounty, and savored the joys of a simple yet meaningful existence.

However, as time passed, cracks began to appear in their idyllic façade. The weight of their past decisions weighed heavily on both Gurov and Anna, as they grappled with feelings of guilt and regret. The echoes of their abandoned lives haunted them, fueling moments of doubt and insecurity.

They found themselves questioning the sustainability of their love and the possible societal repercussions of their unconventional union. The reality of their situation ultimately overshadowed the initial euphoria, forcing them to confront the complexities of their relationship.

Despite the challenges they faced, Gurov and Anna persevered, acknowledging the imperfections and sacrifices that love demanded. Their shared experiences and unwavering commitment to each other enabled them to navigate the treacherous terrain of their unconventional bond.

In the end, Gurov and Anna’s love survived, although not without scars. They learned to embrace the uncertainties and contradictions that life threw their way, recognizing that true freedom often comes with a price. As they faced the uncertain future together, they clung to the profound connection that first drew them towards one another, finding solace in the knowledge that their love, though imperfect, was worth fighting for.

Chekhov, Anton. “The Lady with the Dog.” The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, edited by Richard Bausch and R.V. Cassill, 8th ed., W.W. Norton & Company, 2015, pp. 556-570.

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