A gentle soul or a beast of prey

A gentle soul or a beast of prey

When creating the play “The Cherry Orchard”, Chekhov paid much attention to the image of Lopakhin as one of the central images of the comedy. In the disclosure of the author’s plan, it is Lopakhin who plays a very important role in solving the main conflict:
Lopakhin is unusual and strange, he evoked and causes bewilderment In fact, Chekhov’s character does not fit into the framework of the usual scheme: a crude, uneducated merchant destroys beauty without thinking about what he does, caring only about his profits. The situation for that time was typing not only in literature, but also in life, but if for a moment Lopakhin is imagined as such, the whole carefully thought-out system of Chekhov’s images collapses. Life is more complicated than any schemes,

and therefore the proposed situation can not be Chekhov’s at all.
In the midst of the Russian merchants appeared people who clearly did not comply with the traditional concept of merchants. The duality, contradictoriness, internal instability of these people are vividly conveyed by Chekhov in the image of Lopakhin. Lopakhin’s contradiction is especially acute because the situation is extremely dual.
Ermolai Lopakhin is the son and grandson of a serf. To him in memory for the rest of his life, probably, the phrase struck by Ranevskaya, beaten by the father to the boy, crashed: “Do not cry, muzhichok, before the wedding he will begin to live. “He feels on himself like an indelible brand from these words:” Muzhichok. “My father, it’s true, he was a peasant, and here I am in a white waistcoat, yellow shoes, and if you think about it, then the peasant is a peasant.” Lopakhin suffers deeply from this duality. He destroys the cherry orchard not only for the sake of gain, and not so much for her. There was another reason, much more important than the first – revenge for the past. He destroys the garden, knowing full well that this is “an estate better than nothing in the world.” Still, Lopakhin hopes to kill a memory that, against his will, always shows him that he,
Yermolai Lopakhin, is a “peasant,” and the ruined owners cherry orchard – “gentlemen”.
Lopakhin strives to erase the line separating him from the “gentlemen.” He is the only one who appears on the stage with the book, although later he confesses that he did not understand anything.
Lopakhin has his own social utopia. a great force in the historical process, designed to erase this very line between the “peasant” and “gentlemen.” Lopakhin seems that, by destroying the cherry orchard, he brings a better future.
In Lopakhin there are traits of a predatory beast. But money and power acquired with them (“For all I can pay!”), Maimed not only such people as Lopakhin, but a predator wakes up in it, and Lopakhin finds himself in the power of merchant’s passion. the owner of the cherry orchard, and he cuts this garden before the departure of his former owners, ignoring the insistent requests of Ani and Ranevskaya herself,
but Lopakhin’s tragedy is that he does not realize his own “bestial” beginning. Between his thoughts and real actions lies the deepest abyss. Two people live and fight in it: one is “with a delicate, gentle soul,” the other is a “predatory beast.”
To my great regret, the winner is most often a predator. However, very much in Lopakhin attracts. He is surprised and deafened by his monologue: “Lord, you gave us huge forests, vast fields, deep horizons, and, living here, we ourselves must be truly giants. ”
Yes, it is full! Lopakhin it.” It is no accident that Ranevskaya tries to lower Lopakhin’s pathos, to lower it “from heaven to earth.” Such a “peasant” surprises and frightens her. Lopakhin is characterized by ups and downs, his speech can be surprising, emotional, and then – failures, failures, which indicate that Lopakhin’s true culture can not be spoken of (“Everyone has its own disgrace!” “).
Lopakhin has a desire, a real and sincere desire for spirituality. He can not live only in the world of profits and purity. But how to live differently, he is also unknown. Hence his deepest tragedy, his impermanence, a strange combination of rudeness and gentleness, ill-bredness and intelligence. Lopakhin’s tragedy is especially clearly seen in his monologue at the end of the third act. Author’s notes deserve special attention. First, Lopakhin leads a completely business story about the course of trading, he is frankly happy, even proud of his purchase, then he himself is embarrassed. He smiles affectionately after Vary’s departure, affectionate with Ranevskaya, bitterly ironic to himself.
“Oh, rather, it would all have passed, rather our awkward, unhappy life would have changed somehow. “And then:” There is a new landlord, the owner of a cherry orchard! For all I can pay! ”
Yes it is full, for all?
Will Lopakhin ever understand all his guilt before the house-fenced in the house, before the destroyed cherry orchard, before his homeland?
Lopakhin can not be either a “gentle soul” or a “predatory beast.” At the same time, these two contradictory qualities coexist. The future does not promise him anything good because of his duality and contradictory nature.


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A gentle soul or a beast of prey