Analysis Of Anton Chekhov 's ' The Cherry Orchard '

2328 WordsDec 12, 201610 Pages
Ties that Bind In Russian writer Anton Chekhov’s play, The Cherry Orchard, Chekhov tells the story of a family in crisis and instability at the beginning of the 20th century. The family is about to lose their beloved cherry tree orchard estate because they cannot pay the mortgage. The play, written in 1904, only one year before the first Russian Revolution (1905-1907), is a rendering of the social changes and reform that Russia was experiencing. Chekhov died in 1904 just months before the uprising called Bloody Sunday and was himself the grandson of an emancipated serf (Marks, n.d.) In The Cherry Orchard, there are no riots or raised and clenched fists, but it is a subtler reflection of the times, and the death and demise of the Russian aristocracy and the making of a middle class. However, post slavery or serfdom, the chains that bind humans are not always visible. The way Chekhov portrayed the former serfs in his play seems to whitewash reality and allow the audience to conveniently forget the past. Perhaps he did this with purpose. In American film and literature, we took the same tack until the latter part of the 20th century. In Chekhov’s play and in America “the help” comes across as one of the family, free of the emotional pain of the past and are portrayed as happy and willing to serve. The emotional slavery represented in The Cherry Orchard is not limited to the former serfs but also includes the aristocracy and middle class as well. In modern times, Chekhov’s

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