Chekov and Sustainability

Sustainability in Chekov’s Cherry Orchard is represented by the relationship between Madame Ranevsky, Lopakhin, and the orchard itself. Madame Ranevsky is poor and cannot afford to pay her mortgage, while she is sitting on top of a very expensive estate. The cherry orchard itself, under Madame Ranevsky, is not being harvested or used, it is also not being sold. Although you cannot put a price on sentimental value, Ranevsky’s situation is desperate.

From Ranevsky’s point of view, the only way for her to sustain her family’s financial situation is through selling the cherry orchard. She also asks other for money to help her pay for her mortgage, which just further enables her to avoid the inevitability of having to sell her orchard.

Meanwhile, Lopakhin is a wealthy neighbor who can buy the land and make use of the property by capitalizing on the real estate. This would be sustainable for Lopakhin in the long run, because in time the orchard may pay for itself.

At the end of the play, Lopakhin purchases the orchard in an auction. From a sustainability standpoint, this is a good decision because the land can be utilized for means of productivity.

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