In "The Lady with the Dog," two lovers – both married to other people – lament their predicament and what they consider a shared ill-fate. But should fate be blamed for these unfortunate circumstances? How much personal responsibility lies with the two lovers to begin with? Chekhov's tale deals realistically, not romantically, with the consequences and difficulty of such a "fate."
Fate is used as a scapegoat by the characters in "Lady with the Dog" in order to avoid accepting personal responsibility.