Cherry Orchard: Not Good, Not Bad, Just Fair Essay, Research Paper
Not Good, Not Bad, Just Fair
There are no heroes and no villains. In Anton Chekhov’s play “The Cherry Orchard,” Chekhov does not favor or disfavor any character. He merely presents the characters fairly. His presentation of the characters may cause confusion if the reader tries to blame the outcome of the story on a character, but maybe there is no one at fault or the blame is to be shared. Lopakhin and Madame Ranevsky are clashing individuals, who are not to be judged as either good or bad. Both characters are human, having honorable traits, and minor disreputable qualities. Lopakhin and Madame Ranevsky’s characters are incompatible in the other’s mind. Madame Ravensky is a member of the falling aristocracy who is a lost romantic trapped in a fantasy world on the orchard while forgetting her troubles in the “real” world. Contrarily, Lopakhin is a money driven, sometimes vulgar, and socially rising individual. Lopakhin is trying to make a future by overcoming his past, but remains genuine and practical in his offering help.
The orchard is a focal piece in the play, hence the name “The Cherry Orchard.” The orchard is to be sold in a month after Madame Ravensky’s arrival. Lopakhin believes that the only way the orchard estate can be saved is by chopping down the cherry trees and breaking up the property, which he intends to do if he buys the orchard. Madame Ravensky would rather the orchard be lost completely than changed from how it will remain in her memories forever.
The orchard haunts Madame Ravensky. The orchard is where her son died, which is the saddest thing in her life, but at the same time the orchard was where Madame Ravensky grew up. She remembers all the innocence she had at the orchard, and the orchard would not be the same if it changed. No one can bring back the orchard in her family and she won’t save it because the orchard is merely a memory. She is dropping in class as seen in her fifth floor apartment, but will still put on a pitying facade shown by her tipping a rupel. She seems ignorant, yet confident in her impracticality, because she loves the orchard so much but does not want to save it. This is true because Madame Ravensky may not want to save it. Her son died on the orchard as well as the orchard is where she used to live prosperously and like a little girl in her innocence and no worries. It is conceivable that she may not want to save the orchard and just keep it in her memories as she moves back to France excepting her fall in society but still living, acting wealthy. She the orchard reminds Madame Ravensky of the romantic times of her life and wants to hold onto them one last time.
Lopahkin is very genuine in offering help to the Madame Ravensky and gives them money and tries to help them save the estate, but still has his own motives for buying the orchard. Lopahkin’s grandfather was a serf that worked on the orchard and Lopahkin sees buying the orchard as a release from his past. Lopahkin is money driven which is obvious once he gains control of the orchard and begins chopping it down, putting his plan in to effect to sell plots of land. Lopahkin is practical, and he always seems to be a voice of reason about how to save the orchard. Maybe there is a better way to save the orchard besides chopping it up but Lopahkin does not believe so. Lopahkin is very aware of his growing status, increasing wealth, and observed vulgarness seen by courting a girl by “mooing.” Lopahkin is awkward and unsure in front of the falling aristocrats but has his head screwed on straight in the business world and financial matters. Lopahkin wants to help to extent, but has underlying motives to gain control of the orchard.
Lopahkin and Madame Ravensky are completely different people. They do not think alike at all, but the orchard is an escape to both characters. To Madame Ravensky the orchard reminds her of being a pure child and lets her escape from her financial problems she has outside the orchard. She wants the orchard to be as it is in her memories and wishes not to save it and face the fact that she’s lost so much. Lopahkin insists on chopping down the trees, which is the most practical idea offered. Lopahkin is the only character with money to throw around so he tries helping the Madame Ravensky and her family but they will not listen to him. Lopahkin is genuine in his offering of help, but also sees the orchard as a means of profit and putting his serf lineage behind him.