A.P. Chekhov, "The Cherry Orchard": a summary
"The Cherry Orchard" Anton Chekhov wrote in 1903. The author defined the genre of his work as a comedy, but in the last scene there are tragic notes. In January 1904, the premiere of the play “The Cherry Orchard” by Chekhov’s play took place on the stage of the Moscow Art Theater. This dramatic work and today is included in the repertoire of many theaters. In addition, the play was screened several times.
History of creation
An important image in the work of A.P. Chekhov is the cherry orchard. The main character due to lightheadedness and impracticality was in a difficult financial situation. The estate where she spent her early years is for sale. The new owner does not admire the beauty of the cherry orchard. In his small work, Chekhov more than once emphasizes the opposite of the characters of Ranevskaya and Lopakhin. And this opposite symbolizes disunity, misunderstanding between representatives of different social strata.
Why is the writer so called his work? Chekhov's Cherry Orchard is an image of noble culture that has outlived itself by the beginning of the 20th century.Stanislavsky, the main director of the Moscow Art Theater, recalled in his autobiographical book how he first heard from Anton Chekhov about this play. These memories explain the author’s intention.
The playwright liked to attend rehearsals, often he sat in the dressing room. Once, during an idle, meaningless conversation, he told the director the plan of the future play. “I will call the work“ The Vise Garden ”,“ Chekhov said these words solemnly, but Stanislavsky did not understand the unusual nature of this name.
It's been a few months. The director has already forgotten about the new play called The Cherry Orchard. A. Chekhov, it should be said, at the first mention of the future work, the accent in the word “cherry” was made on the first syllable. But then I changed the name a bit. The writer happily shared with the director: “Not a cherry orchard, but a cherry orchard”. A. P. Chekhov and then Stanislavsky did not understand. Only later, when I read the play, I grasped the meaning hidden in the title.
A cherry is an adjective derived from the name of the trees that are planted for profit. In the word "cherry" more poetry, sublimity.Stanislavsky understood: the cherry orchard does not bring income, he is the keeper of the poetry of a bygone lordly life. Such a garden pleases the eye. But it grows at the whim of impractical spoiled aesthetes. Chekhov's play The Cherry Orchard is a sad comedy about the passing time.
Not all writers and critics were delighted with the play of Chekhov. The Cherry Orchard was particularly disliked by the noble immigrant Ivan Bunin. This writer knew very well what a real manor house looked like, and he said that cherries rarely planted there.
In Russia, according to Bunin, it was difficult to find a large cherry orchard. A. Chekhov, through dialogues, tried to convey the beauty of the May landscape. His characters now and then admire the beauty of the garden (all, with the exception of the merchant, the son of a former serf). Contrary to the vision of Chekhov, in the cherry orchard, according to Bunin, there is nothing beautiful. Small, low trees with small foliage, even at the time of flowering, do not constitute a picturesque sight.
Ivan Bunin also infuriated Chekhov's final play, The Cherry Orchard. Namely, the haste with which Lopakhin began to cut down trees without waiting for the former mistress of the county.Bunin thought this scene was ridiculous, and he noted: “Lopakhin needed to cut trees in a hurry just so that the audience could hear the sound of axes, symbolizing the passing era.” In addition, the writer argued that his colleague did not know anything about the Russian estate culture, and Firs (one of the characters in The Cherry Orchard) was a hero worthy of attention, but not an original one. Nevertheless, Chekhov's play has not lost its popularity for more than a hundred years now. From the point of view of Bunin, not many agree.
Below is the content of Chekhov's Cherry Orchard. The play consists of four actions. To read the work of Chekhov will take no more than an hour. A summary of Chekhov's Cherry Orchard is set out according to the following plan:
- Main character.
- Sale of estate.
- Petya Trofimov.
- Rich aunt.
- Day trading.
- New life.
Lyubov Andreevna Ranevskaya is the main female character of Chekhov's Cherry Orchard and one of the most prominent heroines in Russian literature. Events in the work begin in late May. The story ends with the Chekhov heroes, at the end of August.
After a five-year absence, Lyubov Ranevskaya and her daughter Anna return to the family estate. Here all this time lived and her brother, Leonid Gaev, and the adopted daughter Varvara. Later, the reader learns some of the details of the life of Chekhov's heroes.
In the play "The Cherry Orchard" the author built the dialogues in a special way. The conversation between the characters may seem incoherent, chaotic. The main feature of Chekhov's play "The Cherry Orchard" - the characters do not hear each other, everyone is busy with their own experiences.
The carriage pulls up. The manor house is filled with people who are pleasantly excited. Everybody is happy about the arrival of Ranevskaya, but everyone is talking about his own. The heroes of Chekhov’s work The Cherry Orchard, as already mentioned, do not hear or listen to each other.
So, Ranevskaya returned to the family estate. Her affairs are bad, almost no money left. Her husband died six years ago. He died from drinking. Then the little son drowned, after which Ranevskaya decided to leave Russia - so as not to see this house, a beautiful cherry orchard and a deep river, which reminded her of the terrible tragedy. But I had to return - you need to solve the issue with the sale of the estate.
Ranevskaya and her brother are "big children."These are people absolutely unsuitable for life. Lyubov Andreevna wastes money. People in the house are starving, but she is ready to give the last to a random passerby. Who is she - a slave, holy? By no means. She is a lady accustomed to living in luxury and unable to limit herself to anything. She donates money to a tipsy passerby not out of the goodness of her soul, but rather because of carelessness and frivolity.
After the death of her husband, Ranevskaya met with a man who, just like her, did not like to limit himself to expenses. In addition, he was a dishonorable person: he spent mainly the savings of Lyubov Andreevna. It was his fault that she spent the last funds. He went to Paris for her, there he was ill for a long time, then he got involved in dubious business, and then went to another woman.
When Lyubov Andreevna comes to the family estate, she is remembered. In the garden, which she would later call the only interesting place in the whole province, she suddenly sees the image of a dead mother. Lyubov Andreevna rejoices in the atmosphere of the house, which has not changed at all since her childhood.
While Varya and Gayev meet Ranevskaya and her daughter at the station, the housemaid Dunyasha and the merchant Lopakhin await the arrival of the hostess. Ermolai Alekseevich - a simple man, but punchy.He had not seen Lyubov Andreevna for five years and now doubts whether she will recognize him. Over the years, Lopakhin has changed a lot: he has made a considerable fortune, from a son of a serf turned into a successful merchant. But for Ranevskaya and Gaev, he will remain a simple, uneducated, uncouth man.
Is the clerk Epikhodov. This is a man with whom all sorts of failures constantly occur. "Twenty-two misfortunes" - this is what people around Epikhodov call.
Epikhodov on the eve made the offer of the maid Dunyasha, as the girl happily informs Anna. But she does not listen to her - not only because she is tired from the road, but also because she is occupied with completely different thoughts. By the way, marriage is a rather discussed topic. Anna persuades Barbara to marry Lopakhin - a practical man, firmly on his feet. She, in turn, dreams of marrying the seventeen-year-old daughter of Ranevskaya to a rich nobleman.
Charlotte Ivanovna the governess also appears in this scene. This eccentric, strange person praises his "amazing" dog. Here is present Simeonov-Pyschyk, who constantly asks for a loan.
Lopakhin raises the topic, unpleasant for Ranevskaya and Gaev. Family estate will soon be sold at auction. The only way out for Ranevskaya is to cut down the cherry orchard, divide the land into plots and lease it to summer residents. Despite the fact that the financial situation of Lubov Andreevna is nowhere worse, she does not even want to hear about selling a house. And she and her brother perceive the idea of the destruction of the cherry orchard as blasphemy. After all, their homestead is the only place in the province worthy of attention. An encyclopedia is even said about the cherry orchard - Gaev recalls this, an impractical and infantile person just like his sister.
It is necessary to complement the characteristic Lopakhin. If Ranevskaya and Gaev admire the beauty of the garden, the merchant says: “Trees bear fruit every two years, they do not buy cherries. The beauty of the garden is that it is big. ” Lopakhin does not appreciate the beauty of the blooming garden. He sees only the practical side in everything. But you can't say that this is a negative character. Chekhov does not divide heroes into good and bad.
This is a very interesting character in Chekhov's play The Cherry Orchard. Genre works, as already mentioned, a comedy.But in the play there are a lot of sad moments, for example, scenes in which the main character recalls the death of her little son. Petya Trofimov - the eternal student. He was the tutor of the deceased son of Ranevskaya, and therefore, on the day of the arrival of Lyubov Andreevna, they ask him at first not to appear in her eyes. After all, he is a living reminder of the tragic event that happened five years ago.
But Trofimov does appear. Ranevskaya cries, remembering the drowned son Grisha. Trofimov from time to time betrayed reasoning. Perhaps, in the words of this hero is present and the author's point of view.
The words of this hero given below are part of a dialogue. But since Ranevskaya, Gaev and other characters do not particularly listen to what their interlocutors say, Trofimov's speech can be safely called a monologue.
Trofimov talks about Russian society, where few work. He speaks of the intelligentsia, probably hinting at such as Ranevskaya and Gaev. They are not looking for anything, they are not doing anything, they are not adapted to work. They call themselves intellectuals, but the servants are called upon you, and the men are treated like animals.They do not read much, they have a superficial idea about science, and they also understand little in art.
According to Trofimov, representatives of the intelligentsia have serious faces, they philosophize, talk about the important things, but meanwhile they calmly look at the conditions in which the workers are. Ranevskaya does not hear him. And Lyubov Andreevna, and Barbara only say to Trofimov: "How old you are, Petya!"
In one of the scenes between the main character and the student the controversy flares up. Lyubov Andreevna confesses to Trofimov that she loves the man who is in Paris and sends her telegrams. The student is perplexed. How can you? After all, he is a rogue! Trofimov expresses to her everything he thinks about her frivolity. And she, in turn, insults the student, calling him a "pathetic freak." However, the quarrel is soon forgotten. In this house, they really do not know how to be angry.
The only person who really listens to Trofimov is the daughter of Ranevskaya. Anna and the eternal student friendship. Trofimov says: "We are above love." Anna admires the student's speeches, she catches his every word. Trofimov says that both the grandfather and the great-grandfather of the girl were serf owners: they owned souls, did not work. From all this should get rid of, believes the former tutor.That is why he advises Anne to forget both the ancestral estate and the beautifully cherry orchard - the symbol of the destructive landlord lifestyle.
Lopakhin again raises the topic of land rent. But as before, the impoverished owners of a luxurious family estate do not understand it. Cut down the cherry orchard? It is like destroying pleasant memories of childhood and adolescence. Lease the land to summer residents? In the understanding of Ranevskaya and Gaev it went. But they do not consider it vulgar to wait for money from a rich aunt.
Ranevskaya and Gaev and do not want to hear about the lease of land. Although very soon the house will leave the auction. Save the financial situation can the amount of one hundred thousand rubles. A rich relative will send no more than fifteen thousand.
Gaev fears that the aunt will not give money. After all, his sister did not marry a nobleman, and besides, she was not "very virtuous." Lyubov Andreevna he calls vicious, hinting at her connection with the man who in Paris has robbed her to the last. Gaev talks about how to successfully marry a niece. At the same time, he constantly repeats that he will not allow the sale of the estate.
Another character is the old servant Firs, who constantly grumbles, as if talking to himself. At the same time, this hero sometimes utters words that are not without a deep meaning.It was he who took the author to the final monologue in the play.
Firs treats Gayev as a child. When he embarks on his usual arguments about the impossibility of selling the estate, he leads him away and puts him to bed.
A few days after arrival, Ranevskaya, together with her brother and Lopakhin, go to the city, to a restaurant. After returning, they stop at the chapel. The merchant is outraged by the frivolity of these people who perceive the idea of renting land as vulgarity and do not want to face the truth. He is in anger trying to leave the house Ranevskaya, but she, as always, is careless. Lyubov Andreevna says to Lopakhin: "Stay, have fun with you!"
On the twenty-first of August the house of Ranevskaya is sold. On this day, despite the lack of money, she arranges a small celebration. Guests dance, have fun, only by the end of the evening the hostess of the ball begins to worry. She anxiously awaits Gayev’s return. A rich aunt still sent money - fifteen thousand rubles. But they, of course, are not enough to buy the estate.
Finally, Lopakhin appears. He is pleased, but somewhat confused. The Cherry Orchard is sold, the merchant has become the new owner,the son of a former serf. The newly minted landowner is happy. He made a bargain, surpassing at the auction of a certain Deriganov.
Ranevskaya finally realizes that the cherry orchard is sold. Anna calms the mother, insisting that a new life will soon begin.
It takes several days. The main character seemed to cheer up after the sale of the estate. Previously, she was worried, suffered. Now calmed down. She is going to Paris again, because now she has money sent by a rich aunt. Anna is also inspired. Ahead of her is a new life: studying at the gymnasium, work, reading. Suddenly, Simeonov-Pyschyk appears, but this time he does not ask for a loan, but, on the contrary, distributes money. It turns out that white clay was found on his land.
In the last scene, an empty house is shown. Former inhabitants dispersed, the new owner is going for the winter in Kharkov. Trofimov returned to Moscow - he finally decided to complete the course.
Only one Firs remains. An old servant utters a sad monologue in which these words are present: “Man is forgotten.” Empty the house. All parted. And only the sound of axes is heard - trees are being cut down by order of Lopakhin.This is the summary of Chekhov's Cherry Orchard.
The story that Chekhov told in the work The Cherry Orchard was not uncommon at the beginning of the 20th century. Moreover, something similar happened in the life of the writer. The house together with the shop, which belonged to the father, was sold back in the eighties. This event left an indelible mark on the memory of Anton Chekhov. Becoming a writer, he decided to talk about the psychological state of a person who lost his native home.
The heroes in the play The Cherry Orchard can be divided into three groups. The first includes the aristocrats Ranevskaya and her brother. To the second - people of the new type. Lopakhin contrasted with the main character. The son of a former serf, unlike Ranevskaya and Gayev, is able to adapt to the realities of the new time.
The third group should include Petya Trofimova and daughter Ranevskaya. Chekhov wrote the play The Cherry Orchard two years before the First Russian Revolution. Criticism of the nobility does not come out of the mouth of Trofimov. This is a kind of echo of the revolutionary moods, which intensified by the beginning of the 20th century.
Chekhov's heroes do not understand and do not hear each other. By this, the author wanted to emphasize not the peculiarities of the characters of his characters, but the heterogeneity of Russian society at the turn of the century.Among the nobles, there were more and more incapable of doing serious work. They were mostly idle people who spent most of their time abroad. This is partly the reason for the revolution that took place in 1917.
There is no open conflict in Chekhov’s play. And this is another feature of the work. The main event is the sale of the cherry orchard. Against this background, one can consider the contradictions between representatives of a bygone era and "new" people.
The play depicts the clash of the present and the future. The conflict of generations in Russian literature in 1903 was by no means new, but previously none of the writers revealed the change of historical time on a subconscious level. After all, Chekhov did not know what would happen to the Russian nobility decades after the spectators watched the play The Cherry Orchard for the first time. Given the events that occurred after the revolution, it is difficult to call this play a comedy. In it there is a presentiment of terrible impending thunderstorms.