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Dmitry Gurov from The Lady With the Pet Dog, and Krebs from Soldier's Home, are both very Interested but yet turned off by love. Neither of these Them have the same view, as most people in the world when it comes to love. Gurov deals with his discontent of his wife and life through flings and affairs with many other women in the story. Through bitter feelings with untrue love for his wife he views women as objects, instead of people with emotions. "It seemed to him that he had been sufficiently tutored by bitter experience to call them what he pleased, and yet he could not have lived without the "inferior race" for two days together"( Chekov, Anton. "The Lady with the Pet Dog." The Bedford Introduction to Literature.223-243)
He begins to find himself venturing with true love as he sorts through his emotions for Anna, his lover, whom he met with the intent of just another rendezvous. With all these new found emotions, comes the fear. The fear of rejection, the fear of not knowing and the fear of loss can be overwhelming. Perhaps, this is why Krebs does not give love a chance and is not willing to take that gamble. After a late return from the war he begins to close himself off from the rest of the world because he discovers that he has been alienated through his own lies. "That was all a lie. It was all a lie both ways. You did not need a girl unless you thought about them. He learned that in the army" (Hemmingway, Ernest. "Soldier's Home." The Bedford Introduction to Literature.187-192).
He too views women as troubling. "They were too complicated. There was something else. Vaguely he wanted a girl but he did not want to have to work to get her. He would liked to have a girl but he did not want to have to spend a long time getting her. He did not want to get into the intrigue and the politics. He did not want to have to do any courting. He did not want to tell any more lies. It wasn't worth it." (Hemmingway, Ernest. "Soldier's Home." The Bedford Introduction to Literature.187-192) His insecurities with his life take over and help to build on his inability to love.
Gurov's infatuations with Anna ultimately lead him to separate himself from the rest of the world. His every thought and action being focused on Anna, he could no longer communicate with his friends, wife or children. Simple things that used to amuse him no longer did. Gurov found the courage to go visit Anna in her hometown not knowing what her reaction would be after such a long time apart. He took that risk and found the courage to take his chances at true love, however, Krebs could not face his fears. He wanted a girl, but did not want the dealings that came with a girl. If he were to actually get a girl, he would have to face her. He would have to be truthful or continue in his lies that would ultimately tear him apart.
Krebs instead, decided that keeping his distance and never finding love in a girl would be the safest way. "He wanted to live along without consequences. Besides he did not really need a girl. The army had taught him that" (Hemmingway, Ernest. "Soldier's Home." The Bedford Introduction to Literature.187-192). Not only did he set himself apart from the world through his lies but he found himself also dealing with the fear of consequences through out the rest of his life.
Gurov found his true happiness with Anna but this did not uncomplicated things for the two. There were still the issues of each other's spouses at home, but Gurov had finally found the reason to live and love. Gurov still did not know how to react to all these newfound emotions since he had never found true love in any other woman including his wife, nevertheless he found himself a changed man when he established his true love for Anna and then knew that he had discovered happiness. Even though Krebs never discovered or attempted to discover a true love for another woman he did find the love that he felt for his family. He begins to discover happiness through his family and starts to face the consequences in his life through his decision to move away to find a job. At the time, the love he has for his sister is sufficient enough to make him content. His devotion to his family and need to please them leaves us with the feeling that he will prevail and pull out of his way of lies and seclusion.
In conclusion, both of these stories are a representation of how the two different authors' characters begin to find happiness and triumph over their alienation from their ordinary lives. Their stubborn ways are trumped by the revelations they have of themselves. Although they had both lied and deceived throughout each story, you still find yourself empathizing with each one for different reasons. Krebs is portrayed as lazy and worthless while Gurov just couldn't seem to find a foothold in love. Life is not handed to them and they find themselves having to deal with the consequences of their actions in the midst of searching for contentment. Gurov deals with his state of detachment through finding happiness with one woman. On the other hand Krebs deals with his imposition by trying to ignore it, but in the end begins to face his fears. They both begin find their way through love and understanding.