AP Chekhov was not only a master of the story, his talent extended to other genres. So, for a long time Chekhov’s plays became immortal, filled with subtle symbolism and vitality. One of the best and most famous works of this genre is the “Cherry Orchard”. This play was written in 1903, almost before the death of the writer. In the “Cherry Orchard” Chekhov reveals his views on the past, present and future of Russia. Like most of his works, this play is unique in its plot, more precisely – the absence of pronounced plot lines.
The plot of the play is quite simple. Ranevskaya and Gayev have an estate, the main advantage of which is a beautiful cherry orchard. Both characters are light-minded, because of which they brought the estate to a lamentable
In fact, the play is certainly much deeper. All the main activities in it occur behind the scenes (selling a garden, cutting down trees). We see only the heroes, their experiences and the cherry orchard, which is an equal character in the play. The image of the garden is visibly and invisibly present in every action, in every scene. He is at the center of experiences, disputes, hopes, anxieties.
The realism of Chekhov the artist is vividly visible in the characters of the play. The author does not apply one-sided evaluation to them, there are no only bad and good ones. When you carefully read the work you can see the depth of Chekhov’s characters.
Here we see before us the old owners of the garden. At first glance, Ranevskaya and Gayev are able to evoke a certain sympathy for the reader. The joy and tears of Lubov Andreevna at the memory of her childhood, about her deceased son are sincere and touching.
Ranevskaya is smart enough and can sometimes tell a bitter truth about herself. But it can not change anything, fix it in its destiny. Lyubov Andreyevna lived at her own expense from her birth. This made her a slave of circumstances, her own whims. She is weak-willed, can not abandon the rascal, who deceived and robbed her. Ranevskaya reproaches herself for spending money meaninglessly, while poor Varya “from the economy feeds everyone with milk soup, in the kitchen, the elderly are given one pea.” But then he continues to waste his latest finances.
Her brother Gayev is like a jester. There is a lot of grotesque in his image. Chekhov emphasizes his talkativeness, incredible laziness, inability to any kind of work. Gayev’s frivolity and impracticality reach caricatured dimensions. He pronounces in front of the old cabinet pathos speech, and, excited by his own eloquence, falls into a tearful delight.
This hero can not be taken seriously. The life of Gaeva and his sister is full of memories of childhood, and this is not accidental: they themselves are still children who do not want to grow up. Because of their irresponsibility, the cherry orchard, which both love so much, perishes. But what is love for Gayev and Ranevskaya for the garden? This is a longing for the past, according to the time of serfdom. After all, from each cherry tree, according to Peti Trofimov, “human beings” look. These are the souls of those who thanks to whom this wonderful garden was planted.
It is very important that Ranevskaya and Gayev are not like violent feudalists, cruel and inhuman. No! They are nice, funny, good-natured, absent-minded and seemingly perfectly safe. But because of their sweet absent-mindedness, old Firs was left to die in a boarded-up house.
Through the images of Ranevskaya and Gayev Chekhov showed the complete collapse of the noble world.
Nevertheless, the author does not attack his heroes with a devastating satire. It is dear to him that they did not betray or sell their garden. Heroes refuse to turn their beautiful garden into a mercantile vulgarity. They did not want to become participants in the destruction of beauty for the sake of profit. This was reflected in their peculiar chivalry.
A person of the present can be called in some way the business of Lopakhin. He is a direct descendant of those whose faces “look from every cherry tree in the garden.” His father, grandfather, great-grandfather were servile peasants, who were not allowed even into the kitchen. And this man becomes the owner of the cherry orchard. But he does not have the inner subtlety to discern the beauty of his acquisition. The garden for him is a means of enrichment. And he transgresses to cutting down trees.
Lopakhin is “a beast of prey who eats everything that comes in his way.” This character is needed for “metabolism”, in order to “gobble up” what has already become obsolete.
People of the future are called Ranevskaya’s daughter Anya and student Petya Trofimova. Trofimov reveals the girl’s eyes to the dark, terrible thing that was hidden behind the poetry of the nobility. It is he who owns the words that from every cherry tree “human beings look”. He calls in his monologue to redeem the past, to end it and, finally, to begin to live in the present.
Trofimov calls Anya to the beauty of the future: “I have a presentiment of happiness.” Anya, I already see him… Here it is, happiness, here it comes, coming nearer and nearer, I can already hear its steps. And if we do not see, we do not know it, what’s the trouble? It will be seen by others! “. But I do not think that Petya himself is capable of fighting for a brighter future. His dreams are wide, but… he’s just a dreamer. He is not strong enough for real struggle. But Trofimov’s words change Ani’s worldview. I think she has enough strength to struggle, she wants to be with people who will turn the whole homeland into a new magical garden.
It is important to note that Chekhov’s entire work is imbued with the sadness of parting. But this is a bright sadness. Chekhov, as a wise artist of life, understood that it was necessary to part with the past. The sadness of parting is a harbinger of something new and joyful.