Gurov is the protagonist of Lady with the Dog. Although he denigrates women and refers to them as "the lower race," Gurov secretly admits that he feels more comfortable with them than he does with men. From the story's outset, Gurov searches for distraction outside the bounds of his marriage and stuffy Moscow society. Gurov meets Anna in the resort of Yalta, where both have come to escape their stifling lives. As his relationship with Anna deepens, the protagonist recognizes that he has misrepresented himself to women. With this recognition comes a deeper sense of need and a drive for emotional—rather than material—fulfillment. Back home, Gurov's life seems empty and unrewarding, and he is haunted by the memory of his naïve young lover. As Donald Rayfield notes, Chekhov contrasts Gurov's cynicism and feelings of disillusionment with Anna's idealism and romanticism. In The Lady with the Dog, we witness the changes effected in a man who has fallen in love and then forced to reexamine his views of the world.