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One of the major differences in the two versions of the story, is the sequence of events. Chekov chose to write the original story in chronological order. The structure of Oates’ story accents Anna’s personal conflict. She has moral obligations of marriage, nonetheless, she loves the stranger. Oates’ gives Anna complexity. She is guilty of her secret life, she has real feelings which are shown through her actions. Chekhov’s version has a much simpler approach. It does not touch upon Anna’s full thoughts because it is the story of Gurov’s affair. Chekhov’s story begins at the beginning like most stories do. Then, the main characters meet and begin their affair. The story reaches its climax as Gurov travels to find Anna and expose his true feelings. This then leads to the falling action and resolution where both characters realize distance is too much of a barrier and they agree their love must come to an end. However, Oates chose to tell the story in three parts. She begins at the climax by introducing Gurov as a stranger. The story then flashes back to the beginning, the reader learns how the two lovers met and how they came to that point in the theater. Furthermore, in part three the stories bounce back forward to the falling action and comes to an end by retracing all three parts. This literary choice gives the reader Anna’s point of view during the climax. In Gurov’s version of the story she fears being caught by her husband. In Oates depiction the reader can see Anna’s anger. This gives the female role strength and more depth by allowing her to feel upset that her lover has appeared. The reader can now see she is torn in her feelings. She loves Gurov because he offers her something her own husband does not, which is excitement, purpose, true love and trust. Nonetheless, her guilt is exposed. She feels remorse for her husband because she is having an affair with a stranger. As a matter of fact, her guilt runs so deep that she contemplates committing suicide. She does not want to face her husband and the consequences for her actions it is just too much for her to bear. By the end of Oates’ version, Anna realizes she doesn’t want to die and she no longer wishes death on her husband, thus she continues her affair in secrecy because she has found her “destiny” in Gurov.
Although there are many differences in perspective and the obvious differences in setting, both stories express the idea of double standards. Cheating and affairs, no matter what the time or place, effect men and women very differently. Neither one of the male characters regrets cheating or lying to their significant others. They don’t value the institution of marriage like the female characters. It can be argued that neither do the women because they participate in acts of adultery. However, both woman is torn apart by their actions. They are rendered with guilt and remorse. Social values when it comes to cheating are plain and simple, men are allowed, it is acceptable and almost expected, women are held to a higher standard. The main conflict for Anna reflects this because she questions how she can continue being with the man she loves even if it violates her morals and values, Gurov doesn’t even question how this will all effect his wife.
The most obvious similarities in both stories are the plot and the resolution. Nonetheless, the voice of the story, the emotions, and the characterization of the main characters give each piece their uniqueness. Chekhov’s original piece is a depiction of his time. It is a masculine story with little to no insight on the female role. It is a vivid depiction of a love affair from the point of view of the only character that matters for that time, Gurov. Oates’ version is also a depiction of her time. Women’s voices matter more decades later and therefore Anna’s thoughts and emotions are presented, and the story revolves on a female’s inner conflict. There is a saying that every story has three versions, his, hers and the truth. By reading both stories, the reader has insight to the man’s point of view and the woman’s. Interpretation offers the reader their own truth of the events that took place in this sexual love affair between two torn characters.

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