Individual Choice and Social Movements in The Cherry Orchard

The autonomous world of tradition was weakened by the emancipation of the serfs in Russia. With the weakened structure and decaying condition, the existing social order marked feudalism failed to accommodate the rapidly rising capitalistic middy classes. At any how the society had to move ahead on the path c modernization.

Anton Chekhov(1860-1904)

The possibility of modernization created by the rise of capitalist class began to break the hitherto lingering vestige of feuds aristocracy. The emancipation of serf had already created a new class those emerging classes did not abide by the norms and values of the old feudal masters and mistresses. The rise of capitalism and mercantile pursuits introduced movement toward social transformation. When the structure of the society was heading towards change, people felt disturbed and restless. Within this framework of social movement every individual fell a question of choice. Some chose transformation gladly without any twinge (effect) of loss, some were steeped in the past, so they were maddened by the eternal loss. Somewhere in between the traditional and to transformation introduced through the mercantile practices of the capitalistic middle classes.

When the society was on the eve of drastic change individuals had to adopt his/her own mode of choice. To make a choice in the face of dire change in the face of broader social movement one has to react. Ranevskaya escapes to Paris. On the face of sweeping social change Gayev plunged into dreams of liberal gentry. Pishchik was thrown into money grabbing and a hand to mouth existence from day to day.

Different characters made different kinds of choices, which were personally important to them. Lyubov saw in the orchard all the glory of her forefathers. Lopakhin saw the great possibility of earning lots of money by breaking it. Trofimov too emphasized that the loss of the orchard means the possibility of the new gain. Anya consoled herself at the loss of the orchard. She too saw the new possibility of building new orchard. The latest generation of the decaying aristocracy was somewhat courageous to embrace the drastic social change, which occurred at the huge price. In this way different characters made different mode of choices when they were forced to face the pressure of dynamic social change.

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