The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

987 Words4 Pages
Anton Chekhov, like Henrik Ibsen, is considered a prominent writer on culture and society. Chekhov’s works are noteworthy, in part, because of the lives they portray. In The Cherry Orchard, he writes of a world shackled by a caste system, and he exposes the need for reform. As the title states, the play is set in a cherry orchard. The play revolves around an aristocratic family and other minor characters, but the problem is the family is broke. Chekhov uses the symbolic characters’ memories as a way to portray the servant , the aristocracy, merchant, and the intelligentsia classes, four of the main cast of russian society during the early 1900s.
Madame Ranevsky declares, “You people ought to go and see plays; you ought to try to see yourselves; to see what dull life you lead, and how much too much you talk.” (22) She is referring to how she went to see a play and how it reflected her family and the minor characters. This quote is significant because this is embodiment of what The Cherry Orchard tries to achieve. Chekhov accomplishes this, using memory as a motif, to delve further into the symbolic characters and their representation of the four main characters’ experiences, life struggles, and interactions with other classes in Russian society in the early 1900s. The use of Firs’ memories lends the reader a sense of the lost generation. Servants before the Liberation are named the lost generation because they never experienced life beyond servitude. Firs says, “I’ve been
Open Document