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

What is History?

Barbra Tuchman’s definition of history struck me as beautifully romantic. Her emphasis on the story, the narrative, the personal effect history can have on an individual in my mind rang true to the core. Her story regarding her time spent writing her first thesis struck a particular chord. Immersed in literature, Tuchman almost literally had history flow through her as she wrote; it seemed to act as her muse. Her tale, unlike Edward Carr’s, deals with a more scientific and concrete interpretation of the subject.… Read the rest here

History as manipulation?

Carl Becker describes the average man as “Mr. Everyman” who is a historian in his own right. He is not a historian who has studied the course of history and the significant events that have taken place, rather a historian of his own life. Becker states that “History is the memory of things said and done” which includes everything in life. Mr. Everyman is a historian of things that occur in his life daily, using memory as his key source.… Read the rest here