A World in Transition in The Cherry Orchard

The play The Cherry Orchard describes a world in transition. It depicts the terminal stages in the disintegration of the old feudal structure in the Russian society. This final landscape of the disintegration of Old Russian aristocracy is reflected in the play. The play covers the situation quite thoroughly.

Anton Chekhov(1860-1904)

It dramatizes with a telling effect and with a realistic touch how the old order was yielding place to the new to depict the decaying world of the feudal Russian aristocrat, Chekhov adopted the tendency towards portrait painting: Chekhov's art of characterization is not so simple. With as many readers are inclined to think. His technique of sketching character is subtly simple. With the touch of subtlety and tact of simplicity Chekhov has sketched his characters. To represent a world in transition, it was necessary for portrait characters. The playwright deliberately made his characters look ridiculous a bit. It does not mean he is hostile and titled in his attitude towards them. If he comes across certain positive traits in them, he foregrounds it. By the same token, if he happens to notice some of their minor errors he exposes it without a moment's hesitation. Chekhov basically portrays his characters (even his sympathy demanding character) afflicted with divergence from the norms. Although he presents his characters slightly ridiculous he nevertheless treats them with courtesy.

Lopakhin is by way of becoming a millionaire, though he can hardly write his name. He represents a capitalistic middle class. It is this middle class represented by him that was going to substitute the dying feudal class. He is strong and shrewd, but he can't summon up the courage to propose marriage to Varya. Lopkhin is, above all, a workman. There is an unspoken sympathy between him and Trofimov, though they belong to different camps.

The Cherry Orchard Study Center

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