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This he did by writing at the same time that he pursued a medical degree. By the time he earned his doctorate inhis health was impaired by tuberculosis, which was to cut his life short at the age of forty-four. One might expect the final product of such an existence to reveal bitterness and rage.
The characters of The Cherry Orchard are not tragic in the usual sense of the word because they are incapable of any great heroic action. Chekhov shows them clearly in their frustrations, jealousies, and loves. Most of the characters dream but only a few act.
Madame Ranevskaya dreams that their estates will somehow be saved; her daughter, Anya, of a future without blemish; Fiers, the old valet, of the glories that used to be; Dunyasha, the maid, of becoming a fine lady; Trofimov, the student, of a magnificent new social order.
The few characters who do not dream are perhaps even more pitiable than those who do. Yephodov, nicknamed two-and-twenty misfortunes because of his habitual bad luck, sees failure and despair everywhere.
His only triumphant moments come when he fulfills his nickname. Charlotta, the governess, performs tricks to make others laugh because she herself is unable to laugh and views the future with empty eyes.
Yasha, the young valet, a callous, self-centered cynic, is beyond dreams. Only Varya, able to see her dreams for what they are, is realistic and fully human at the same time.
Perhaps because she is the adopted daughter and unrelated to the ineffectual aristocrats, it is she who can look the future full in the face, who can see other characters—and accept them—for what they are.
With the security of the estate crumbling, with prospects increasingly dim for her hoped-for marriage to Lopakhin, she finds salvation in work.
Madame Ranevskaya and her family have done nothing with their plot of land, which was once a grand and famous estate. Even the cherry orchard has become more dream than reality.
Forty years before, the cherries made famous preserves, but the recipe has been forgotten.
Madame Ranevskaya can be played as a dignified if somewhat inept woman caught in the vise of changing times, or as a silly lovesick female refusing to face truth.
Lopakhin can be portrayed sympathetically—it is certainly easy to applaud his rise from menial to master of the estate—or as a villain, pretending to warn the family while knowing full well that they are incapable of action, gloating over his triumph, and heartlessly rejecting Varya.
Trofimov has been interpreted as the perpetual student, given to long intellectual rumination and little else; after the Revolution, he was frequently portrayed as the spokesman for the new social order, a partisan of the common people.
Chekhov saw life with double vision that encompassed the tragic and the comic almost simultaneously. It is accurate, therefore, that The Cherry Orchard is classified as tragicomedy.
The comedy is evident in stretches of apparently meaningless dialogue which makes The Cherry Orchard a precursor of the theater of the absurd much later in the centuryand in the superficial behavior typical of a comedy of manners.
The tragedy lies in the lack of communication—much is said, but little is heard, let alone understood—and in the blindness of the characters as they blunder through their lives, hardly ever fully aware of what is happening to them.
In the final speech, Fiers, the ill, elderly valet, mutters words that echo as a coda to the entire play:Free Essay: The Cherry Orchard: Critical Analysis The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov is about a Russian family that is unable to prevent its beloved estate.
HOME Essays Literature Analysis of The Brute by Anton Chekhov Anton Chekhov is known as master of human psychology, which he is able to express by subtle implications in his plays.
The Brute is obviously not the most famous of his works, yet has the same vision of human nature and relationships. Anton Chekhov Homework Help Questions. Describe the characters in The Proposal by Anton Chekhov.
The Marriage Proposal by Anton Chekhov is a . A critical overview of Gooseberries by Anton Chekhov, including historical reactions to the work and the author.
Get this from a library! Critical essays on Anton Chekhov. [Thomas Eekman;]. Note: Citations are based on reference standards. However, formatting rules can vary widely between applications and fields of interest or study. The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied.