A special feature of the story is the ambiguity of the image of the main character, enabling versatile understanding and interpretation of the work. That is why one of the best of Chekhov's stories, the story of "life of love", caused and continues to cause the conflicting opinions and estimates today.
Two storylines clearly reveal in Darling. "The chain of interests" of Darling draws an image of frivolous lady, who rapidly changes heart attachments and dissolves in her choices. "The chain of losses and misses" draws Olga Semyonovna’s feelings with the loss of her loves.
Four-storied composition corresponds to the change of the four Darling’s attachments. Chekhov uses method of repetition for constructing a narrative: the situation develops in the same scenario in each of the four parts. The Darling understands others’ condition, imbues with sympathy, then love, becoming an "echo" and "shadow" of the lover, then the situation comes to the end. Such uniformity and predictability of action of further development of events makes a comic effect.
The writer organizes time in the story by alternating of the repetitive scenes and one-time events. The narrative of the three parts concerns to the character’s past, verbs of present are used only in the fourth part.
The story is written in an artistic style. The artistic construction of the text is based on the alternation of lyrical and comic narrative tone. The originality of the story appears in the repetition of diminutive suffixes, use of the method of repetition throughout the story, attention to speech details.
The main theme of the work is the love which is contrasted by Chekhov with evaluative vacuum of society. At the same time the essence of love in the main character’s understanding is the ability to give love rather than receive it.
Having the gift of seeing a complex in a simple, Chekhov finds and reveals in the everyday life of an ordinary man, what is the essence of this man, what he lives for.