“After this they met every day at noon on the promenade, lunching and dining together, going for walks, and admiring the sea… And often, when there was nobody in sight in the square or the park, he would draw her to him and kiss her passionately. The utter idleness, these kisses in broad daylight, accompanied by furtive glances and the fear of discovery, the heat, the smell of the sea, and the idle, smart, well-fed people continually crossing their field of vision, seemed to have given him a new lease on life.”

Dmitri and Anna, two people who are trapped in loveless marriages, have created an oasis for themselves through their affair in Yalta. Their bliss and their happiness is reflected in Dmitri’s descriptions of the Yalta landscape. The summer setting and the picturesque views depict Yalta as an idyllic paradise because Dmitri is so happy to have found Anna and to have found such a powerful escape from the drudgery of his daily life in Moscow.

“Frost had set in. When the first snow falls, and one goes for one’s first sleigh-ride, it is pleasant to see the white ground, the white roofs; one breathes freely and lightly, and remembers the days of one’s youth. The ancient lime-trees and birches, white with rime, have a good-natured look, they are closer to the heart than cypresses and palms, and beneath their branches one is no longer haunted by the memory of mountains and the sea.”

This passage is located towards the middle of the text after Dmitri has returned home to Moscow. The summer weather that Dmitri experienced in Yalta has transitioned into a frigid Moscow winter which represents both the passage of time and the fact that Dmitri’s life is much colder without Anna. Dmitri highlights the beauty of winter in a shallow, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to banish Anna from his mind. However, he is still “haunted” by the memory of Yalta which will eventually lead him away from Moscow, to Anna.

“The theatre was full. It was a typical provincial theatre, with a mist collecting over the chandeliers, and the crowd in the gallery fidgeting noisily. In the first row of the stalls the local dandies stood waiting for the curtain to go up, their hands clasped behind them. There, in the front seat of the Governor’s box, sat the Governor’s daughter, wearing a boa, the Governor himself hiding modestly behind the drapes, so that only his hands were visible. The curtain stirred, the orchestra took a long time tuning up their instruments. Gurov’s eyes roamed eagerly over the audience as they filed in and occupied their seats.”

Here, Dmitri’s eyes scan the crowd at the opening night of “The Geisha” while he looks for Anna and her husband. Chekhov describes the sheer number of people in the audience to emphasize the very public nature of theatergoing, increasing the suspense. Dmitri bought a ticket to the operetta for the sole purpose of consorting with a married woman. The public setting increases the likelihood that the two could get caught. Relatedly, Dmitri’s voyeurism in this passage implies that many eyes could soon track him and Anna just like he is currently tracking the movements of other unsuspecting people.