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However, once the couple meets, the weather begins to change. Chekhov illustrates how the characters are developing through the change in the weather.
However, as the adulterous relationship continues, the weather become tumultuous, foreshadowing the turmoil that will soon begin inside both Anna and Dmitri.
After the lovers commit their adulterous deeds, when they went out, there was not a soul on the embankment, the town with its cypresses looked completely dead (Chekhov 147), indicating the death inside both the lovers.
There is no turning back at this point, and death may loom ahead.
Through the environment the characters live in, we learn what they are going through, and understanding of the characters expand beyond mere words and actions.
Chekhovs ability to define character and produce an effect in the reader is not limited only to the description and action provided in the story.
He expertly weaves location and setting into the development of theme.
Setting is essential if the reader is to be given the opportunity to glimpse a truth about the internal life from the characters and the plot (Charters 1008).
The story begins in Yalta, obviously in warmer weather, which sets a happy tone for the exposition. Inside it was stuffy, but outside the dust flew in whirls, hats blew off (Chekhov 146).
While the plot itself may be little more than that of a soap opera, the development and depth to which the characters are taken is far beyond any afternoon television program.
As Richard Ford says, Chekhov concentrates [his] narrative attentions not on the conventional hot spots sex, deceit, and what happens at the end but rather, by its precision, pacing, and decisions about what to tell, it directs our interest toward those flatter terrains of a love affair where we, being conventional souls, might overlook something important (871).