& Oates Essay, Research Paper
Point of View in Chekhov?s and Oates?s ?The Lady with the Pet Dog?
Anton Chekhov and Joyce Oates both approached this short story from the third-person narrator. The main difference is how Chekhov entertained the male perspective of love while Oates indulged in the weakening aspect of the feminine side. Chekhov used a limited omniscient narrator who only knows Gurov?s inner thoughts and feelings. He reveals the point of view by not including any feminine thoughts and emotions throughout the story only a mere poetic aspect of Anna. Chekhov tells his story from the eyes of a man looking at a beautiful woman, smart, with a soft voice. He makes her so perfect that you forget that their love was sinful, but more innocent.
On the same aspect, Oates uses a limited omniscient narrator who focuses on Anna as being the center of consciousness. She reveals the point of view by alienating the thoughts to only Anna. The reader is only able to interpret the thoughts and emotions of the lover only through his own words. Oates creates Anna as a simple woman without respect for herself, a woman insane with love.
Chekhov and Oates?s approach towards this point of view were both convincing and realistic. Chekhov?s ability to place all the emphasis on the emotional stability and instability of Gurov?s thoughts and emotions give the reader a more in-depth sense of the confusion involved in his situation. Chekhov?s use of the third person narrator enhanced the story. If Chekhov had approached this story from a different perspective, we would not have the full effect of the masculinity involved in the emotional bondage between a man and woman. For example, if Gurov?s wife would have been the consciousness of the story we would have felt her pain and suffering, thus leaving us with more despise for Gurov. However, only given Gurov?s perspective we can empathize with his innocent love for this woman Anna.
Oates approach also would not have been as effective is she would have changed her focus to the husband, because she focused on the feminine character we can feel Anna?s sort of demented feminine emotions involved in such a sinful act. In the same respect, if Oates would have given us more emotions and thoughts from Anna?s husband we would have been more inclined to feel that what Anna was doing was wrong, not just fate. By moving back and forth between the past and present, Oates uses the plot to illustrate a pattern of Anna?s instability throughout the progression of the story. Oates also uses the absence of the lover?s name in a sense to focus more attention on Anna. Oates use of the third person narrator creates Anna as a round, dynamic character who changes throughout the story. If Oates had created this story using an omniscient narrator, we would have the ability to know all and then our opinions on the act of infidelity may have differed. If Oates would have put more thoughts and emotions on other character in the story then the story may have unfolded differently. Imagine the story being told from the husbands perspective he would probably be full of anger and hatred, but this story is more full of love than hatred. Perhaps, if the reader knew the husband thoughts and feeling about Anna, either good or bad, the story may have taken a different turn. However, leaving all of the other characters thoughts out, we can only presume that she was acting in fate. Not being able to see the response of certain situations leaves the reader to be sympathetic towards such an irrational, unstable character such as Anna.
In comparison, Chekhov?s use of names is to characterize Anna and Gurov and give a more personal approach in understanding the reality of more than one character versus Oates approach at only giving a name to the main character Anna which leaves the reader more at stray about the reality of the lover. Oates uses this approach to indulge our senses in how Anna felt; not including a name only makes the reader more unaware of the personal connection between the two. In addition, the use of the limited omniscient narrator not knowing the inner lives of the other characters in these stories plays an important role in understanding each of the different perspectives. If the reader is given the opportunity to see the inner lives of other characters, we may have felt differently toward each of the main characters in these stories.
In conclusion, the two stories of ?The Lady with the Pet Dog? have parallel points of view. Other than the differences mentioned above. These stories create an emotional understanding of the realisms of life. Both of these authors did a wonderful job creating a sense of actuality from the different perspectives, masculine and feminine.