Plot in The Lady with the Pet Dog
Ending: Much of the strength of “The Lady With the Pet Dog” can be attributed to its ending, which in many ways is not an ending. The underlying issues in the relationship between Anna and Gurov—their inescapable marriages, the geographic distance between them—are never resolved. The final sentence leaves us with ambiguity: “it was clear to both of them that they had still a long, long road before them, and that the most complicated and difficult part of it was only just beginning.” We are left with the confusion of their situation, both the love and terror of it. Such an ending was considered extremely unusual in Chekhov’s time. Yet, because of Chekhov’s enormous influence on contemporary American literature, one can find numerous examples of the open-ended conclusion in modern short stories.