Firs And The Emancipation Manifesto

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Firs is an eighty seven year old servant at Madame Ranevsky’s estate. Although he is old, but he is the only character in the play that shows the positive and happy life in the past in the cherry orchard estate. In act I Firs comments that now that he has finally seen his boss again he is ready to rest in peace (p. 6), this being a foreshadow that at the end of the play he will actually die. In act II, Firs comments on life was better before the serfs were freed, and that even after he, being a slave, was freed, he stayed and worked on the estate for Madame Ranevsky (p. 22-23). This comment by Firs is a representation of how the older generation views the emancipation manifesto and doesn’t adapt and accept the change, wishing that things stayed the same. Firs said, “And when the Liberation came I…show more content…
No one knows Firs’s whereabouts; they all think he went to the hospital. What none of the characters knew was that Firs was still inside the cherry orchard estate while it was being demolished. The fact that Firs was forgotten represents the passing of Russia’s old order. Although he was loyal to the family even after the Liberation of the serfs, the family treated him with disloyalty, by leaving him behind and caring only about their own lives but not caring about his, as well as treated him with disrespect, by the way Gayef used to talk to him. This was shown in many occasions where Firs was caring for Gayef’s wellbeing, but Gayef responded by, “What a plague you are, Firs!” (p.22). This response shows how Gayef has no respect whatsoever for Firs’s age, loyalty and the fact that Firs cares about Gayef and his wellbeing. The finale of the play is Firs’s death and the demolishing of the orchard, which is a portrayal of the change from the old Russia to the new Russia. Firs’s ideals and memories of the old Russia and the past will taken with him to the graves and

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