The Cherry Orchard and Sustainability

In Anton Chekhov’s “Cherry Orchard”, social, economic, and environmental themes of sustainability are brought up throughout the plot-line. These themes mainly revolve around the character of Madame Ranevsky, the owner of an estate with a cherry orchard. This gigantic orchard once had a fruitful history but has now become more of a burden for Ranevsky. Ranevsky has a history of running away from situations in her life. For example, after her husband and child die within a month of one another, Ranevsky runs away to Paris.… Read the rest here

The Cherry Orchard: Foreshadow of the Russia to Come?

While reading Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard I found examples of the many types of struggles Russia would face in the 20th Century. There were so many seemingly direct allusions to these struggles that when I remembered the play was written in 1904, I was shocked. Many of these foreshadows are related to sustainability, and The Cherry Orchard touches on sustainability in multiple ways: preserving the environment, maintaining economic prosperity and keeping old traditions and ways of life alive.… Read the rest here

The Cherry Orchard: A Modern Take

Anton Chekhov’s drama The Cherry Orchard focuses on a common motif that is often seen today: the idea of someone “selling out” their land and the environmental vs economic question it presents.  Recently, I watched the movie The Descendants and it’s amusing to see how much the movie, or the author of the book the movie was based on (Kaui Hart Hemmings) consciously or subconsciously borrowed from Chekhov.  Yes, the movie took place in Hawaii and not Russia, and no, there were no fatal boating accidents in The Cherry Orchard.  Read the rest here

The Cherry Orchard

On reading this piece I was immediately struck by how apparently the characters portray the social and political groups present in the transitional Soviet state. Most noticeable were the roles of Madame Ranevsky and Lopakin. Reading the interactions between the ex-bourgeoisie and the ex-serf related to the Communist conflict in Russia where those that felt oppressed, that felt like they had to take retribution, did so by assuming the property of the bourgeoisie and their status.… Read the rest here

As I read through Cherry Orchard I noticed an interesting relationship developing between the characters. I think that many of the behaviors that the characters exhibit the aristocratic decline that was occurring while Chekhov was writing.

In most interactions between aristocrats and their servants, you would expect there to be a sense of supremacy among the elite. However, the servants, such as Dunyasha, seem to have a certain amount of status in the household. One such example of this would be the informality that Dunyasha shows when she greets Anya upon her arrival in the first scene.… Read the rest here

“The Cherry Orchard” and changing social order

In his work “The Cherry Orchard”, Anton Chekhov illustrates a population divided by a desire to cling to the Tsar’s final vestiges of power and a desire to see social orders reformed to accommodate the emergence of a new middle class.

The Liberation and the decline of the Tsar’s power in Russia allowed for the reordering of social power and structures. As Lophakin explains, “until a little while ago there had been nothing but gentry and peasants in the village, now villa residents have made their appearance.” These “villa residents” represent the new middle class – peasants who were no longer bound to their masters or who – like Lophakin – have become landowners and secured their own autonomy.… Read the rest here

Status and the Middle Class in The Cherry Orchard

The characters in the Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov demonstrate the changing relationship among social classes during the late tsarist period in Russia. The power of the aristocracy was shrinking, while at the same time, members of the peasantry were rising to form a new middle class.

Madame Lyubov Andreyevna,her brother Gayev, and neighbor Simeonov-Pishchik are all members of the old aristocracy, unable to transition to a society where status no longer guarantees wealthRead the rest here