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Paper #2 - Andrew Bosserman Engl 238 9:00 Comparing and...

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Andrew Bosserman Engl 238 9:00 3/20/08 Comparing and Contrasting Relationships in The Lady with the Pet Dog by Anton Chekhov and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Romantic relations between two people are often unpredictable. Individuals express affection in different ways, and love does not always carry the same significance for everyone. Even though these major differences are often present, by comparing the bonds between lovers we can better understand the emotions of the characters involved. While the two relationships occur in different circumstances and have inherent differences, the tie between Dmitry Gurov and Anna Surgeyevna is similar to that between Janie and Tea Cake. Many similarities exist in the ways in which the characters meet, in the troubles they face in their love, and in the conclusions of their stories. Dmitry meets Anna under much the same circumstances that Tea Cake meets Janie. Although Anna has a husband back in an unnamed town of Russia and Dmitry has a wife in Yalta, neither one is portrayed as being in love with their spouse, and the story reveals that Dmitry has often been unfaithful to his wife. After eating dinner together, the two begin a carefree conversation and “there sprang up between them the light banter of people who are free and contented” (73). Until this moment, Anna remains silent and unknown, but with this conversation she opens up to Dmitri and the two enjoy the evening together. They are perfectly at ease together, and neither one is awkward or uncomfortable with the other. As the two spend time alone they find peace that they have not experienced in a relationship before.
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Similarly, Tea Cake and Janie quickly develop a friendship based on conversation and fun. Janie is a widow, and while she has worn mourning clothes for months to keep possible suitors away, she does not feel obliged to remain faithful to her late husband’s memory. While discussing the possibility of marriage with her friend Phoeby she states, “To my thinkin’ mourning oughtn’t tuh last no longer’n grief” (93). The last few months of her marriage to Joe
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