"The Lady with the Dog"
Gurov’s back home in Moscow and, quickly, it’s winter.
Scanning for his state of mind, in order to see where this affair’s left him, we might note, in that first paragraph
s, a cluster of color/mood words: it’s dark, there are stoves going (it’s cold), the lights have to be lit; frost, snow, white, white roofs, white with rime…and all of this ends with a callback to his memories of “mountains and the sea.”
So, two quick points here: first, we contrast all of this cold/whiteness with Yalta, which was all soft warm lilac, a golden band of moonlight, etc. Second, we see another example of Chekhov seemingly sensing, and then swerving back from, first-order meaning. That is, Gurov could have rebelled against winter, and we sort of expect this (since we are expecting some longing for Anna to assert itself, since otherwise, what have the preceding two sections been about?) but instead, Chekhov uses the idea of “winter” to communicate, in that second paragraph, a perhaps surprising…