The Cherry Orchard and the Rise of Bolshevism Essay example

The Cherry Orchard and the Rise of Bolshevism Essay example

Length: 3100 words (8.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Cherry Orchard and the Rise of Bolshevism  

 
    Anton Chekhov uses The Cherry Orchard, to openly present the decline of an aristocratic Russian family as a microcosm of the rapid decline of the old Russia at the end of the nineteenth century--but also provides an ominous foreshadowing of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in the disparate ideals of his characters, Trofimov and Lopakhin, however unintentionally. The Gayev family and their plight is intended as a symbolic microcosm of the fall of the aristocracy in society at large. Though the merchant Lopakhin is presented as the character who holds values of the new, post-aristocratic age, the student Trofimov espouses the political sentiments that will ultimately replace both the aristocratic class and the new commercial class. Chekhov's presenting Lopakhin as a pioneer of the new social order is undermined by the lines and role he gives to Trofimov, and the author discounts the importance of the then-emerging revolutionaries. Yet the play reveals a major reason why Communism ultimately received very little support from the gradual-minded middle class, which lead to a bloody revolution and totalitarian regimes for a good part of a century. It is this insight which provides contemporary critiques of socialist movements with a lesson about human nature -- a lesson that serves to show that Communism and other forms of ideological socialism have never been workers' movements, even if the movements temporally address workers' political demands.

 

Chekhov relies on several devices to proclaim to his audience that the changes taking place are not merely personal for the profligate Gayev family, but are part of an inevitable social evolution. Through these devices, Chekh...


... middle of paper ...


... young revolutionaries who eventually seized Russia. Though the playwright dismisses the importance of these ideas, he offers a contrast of them with those of the bourgeoisie that explains why Russian Communism arrived through a bloody revolution and without middle-class support, and why for over seventy years of this century the world had to live with the results of the revolution.

 

Works Cited

Chekhov, Anton. The Cherry Orchard. 1903. Jacobus 792-815.

----. Letter to K.S. Stanislavsky. Jacobus 816.

Jacobus, Lee, ed. The Bedford Introduction To Drama. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford Books, 1997.

Levite, Allan. Guilt, Blame, and Politics. San Francisco: Stanyan Press, 1998.

Pritchett, V.S. Chekhov: A Spirit Set Free. New York: Random House, 1988.

Simmons, Ernest J. Chekhov: A Biography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard Essay

- In the very early twentieth century, Anton Chekhov composed a play entitled The Cherry Orchard, which focused on many themes including childishness, clinging to the past, and hypocrisy of humans, all of which were clearly represented throughout the play. These themes are all causes of the theme that stands out in The Cherry Orchard above all else, this being the reversal of fates. Madame Ranevsky is the joint owner of a large estate which neighbors the home of Lopakhin, a son of the serf who belonged to the Ranevsky family before the liberation of serfs in Russia....   [tags: Analysis of The Cherry Orchard]

Powerful Essays
883 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Obsolete Ideas in Chekhov's Ghosts and The Cherry Orchard

- “Life’s slipped by just as if I’d never lived at all” - These are the last words of Firs as he lies ill after all have abandoned him at the orchard. As an avid follower of defunct theories, he is unable to accept the fact that what he preaches is what brought him to his ruin. Instead, he blindly blames the “young folks”, a somewhat ironic statement. After a life of servile and selfless devotion, his descendants have left him behind. Firs’s death is symbolic of how the Ranevsky family are now leaving behind all the defunct theories that had taken over them....   [tags: Ghosts, The Cherry Orchard]

Powerful Essays
1544 words (4.4 pages)

Love in Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard Essay

- This essay will address the apparent dissatisfaction with the concept of love, which is expressed by one of the play’s principal characters Peter Trofimov. As a student and former tutor in the Ranevsky household, Peter represents the Realist scholar as well as the working class, and voices the ideals and sentiments of both. In response to the negative social changes caused by the rising middle class, the working class had grown skeptical of the concepts of love and freedom, because such concepts had been used to increase the social and economic position of the middle class at the expense of the masses....   [tags: Anton Chekov, The Cherry Orchard]

Powerful Essays
736 words (2.1 pages)

The Cherry Orchard - The Struggle Essay example

- The Cherry Orchard - The Struggle Anton Chekhov’s play The Cherry Orchard introduces readers to a pre-Revolution Russian family faced with the impending sale of their estate, the Cherry Orchard. The main character in the play is the owner of the Cherry Orchard, Lyubov Andreyevna. It is in the play that Lyubov must ultimately decide whether to allow her Cherry Orchard to be cut down to make room for villas or to sell the entire estate to pay off her debts. It is her unconditional love for both the Cherry Orchard and what it symbolizes to her that allows her to put the estate up for sale rather than have the Cherry Orchard cut down....   [tags: Anton Chekhov Cherry Orchard Essays]

Free Essays
796 words (2.3 pages)

Essay Comedy and Tragedy in The Cherry Orchard

- Comedy and Tragedy in The Cherry Orchard   Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard serves as a glimpse into the lives of upper middle-class Russians at the turn of the century. The play at times seems to be a regretful account of past mistakes, but at other times it seems very comedic. The final outcome tends to classify it primarily as a tragedy with no shortage of lighthearted moments. It invokes many feelings within the reader: joy, regret, pity, and anger are all expressed among the interactions of several characters with rich and complicated personalities....   [tags: Anton Chekhov Cherry Orchard Essays]

Powerful Essays
1537 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on Cultural Shock in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard

- Cultural Shock in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard     Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard projects the cultural conflict of the turn of the twentieth century of Russia. With a historical allusion, Chekhov exhibited the changing Russia with "slice of life" in his play. The Cherry Orchard is not only a depiction of Russian life but also an understatement of changing traditional value. Cultural conflict itself is an abstraction. To explain it, it is the traditional culture that is unable to resist the invading one....   [tags: Anton Chekhov Cherry Orchard Essays]

Powerful Essays
2261 words (6.5 pages)

Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard and A Visit to Friends Essay

- Anton Chekhov is the author of both The Cherry Orchard and “A Visit to Friends.” Both works have similar characteristics and are typical of Chekhov’s writing style. Three of these characteristics are the setting of the story, family, and nature. The settings of both “A Visit to Friends” and The Cherry Orchard are in rural areas of Russia. Specifically, the setting for “A Visit to Friends” is in the tiny village of Kuzminky. Tatyana and Varya do not want to leave, but Sergei Sergeyich does not mind....   [tags: The Cherry Orchard, A Visit to Friends]

Free Essays
436 words (1.2 pages)

Essay on Theme of the Past in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard

- The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov is very much a play about the past. However, it is more specifically about breaking free from the past through change and acceptance. The consistent theme of memory in terms of both forgetting and remembering are evident throughout the play. The quote at the end of the play where Firs is forgotten and the cherry orchard is cut down is an important symbol of the past dying away and the characters moving on. Firs ends the play and he represents the past in both historical and personal terms in relation to Madame Ranevsky....   [tags: The Cherry Orchard Essays]

Powerful Essays
1887 words (5.4 pages)

Symbolism in The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov Essay

- Symbolism in The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov Mamma. Are you crying, mamma. My dear, good, sweet mamma. Darling, I love you. I bless you. The Cherry orchard is sold; it?s gone; its quite true, it?s quite true. But don?t cry, mamma, you?ve still got life before you, you?ve still got your pure and lovely soul. Come with me, darling, and come away from here. We?ll plant a new garden, still lovelier than this. You will see it and understand, and happiness, deep, tranquil happiness will sink down on your soul, like the sun at eventide, and you?ll smile, mamma....   [tags: Papers Cherry Orchard Chekhov Essays Papers]

Powerful Essays
1577 words (4.5 pages)

Essay on The Cherry Orchard

- In drama “ The Cherry Orchard” , 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. 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. Lopakhin is a money driven, sometimes vulgar, and socially rising individual....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
591 words (1.7 pages)