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Posted November 1, 2006
The Cherry Orchard
The setting of The Cherry Orchard is Russia in May. The great cherry orchard on the Ranevsky¿s estate is used as a symbol in this play. It symbolizes all of the characters memory of the past. For Ranevsky and her brother they remember their childhood. And for Firs, he remembers how his grandparents became freed from slavery on this estate. It is the 18th century and it seems that the economy is picking up. Lopakhin had the idea of selling parcels of the land of the estate to build on and lease to summer cottage-holders. He assures Ranevsky that this will bring in plenty of money to pay off debts and keep the estate because summer cottage-holders are becoming increasingly numerous. At this time in Russia many things were going on. The country of Russia was becoming more liberalized. The Emencipation Declaration or 1861 freed serfs from bondage. Serfs were like the slaves of Russia and Eastern Europe. Many people during this time were forced to sell their estate like Ranevsky was, to pay off debts. The plot of The Cherry Orchard was basically set up as person vs. inner self. This is because Ranevsky spends and gives away money with no control. Therefore she becomes in debt and cannot pay off her debts. She is then forced to sell her beloved home with the great cherry orchard. Her old home holds many childhood memories for her as well as her brother and children. It also is the keeper of the servant¿s memories of family members slaved at this estate in the years before. The theme for this is memories. Ranevsky struggled greatly with hanging on to the past and what once was especially the bad memories. She did hold onto a few good ones like the cherry orchard and the house she grew up in. But it was as if she was almost afraid of the future or what could become of her, her family, or the estate. In the end she finally is forced to let go of the estate she loved so much. She embraced this idea of this being a new beginning for them all. All who once lived there went off to live in different places and moved on with their lives. It was a new beginning for them all. I read this book not expecting to enjoy it. Once I started to read I started to become hooked. This book didn¿t hook me into it like other books I have read. Most start out exciting and make you want to know more right away. This book just made me wonder what would become of the great cherry orchard and it hooked me to keep reading to find out. I did get confused at times with what characters were who. The names of the characters were very strange and different characters called some characters by several names or nicknames which helped to confuse me more. But I got over this by looking in to the front of the book where it explained who each character was. Overall this book was very good and entertaining. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 3, 2003
The plot of this play deeply and effectively expresses irony. It¿s a story of a rich family that has money and servants, then find themselves in a position of helplessness. Although they have owned the cherry orchard for many years, in the end it is the hard working merchant that was able to buy the property for his own self. This, in fact, is a great example of situational irony. Where based on the history being told in the play, one would never imagine the descendent of a family of serfs to end up owning the property, of the family, that owned his family before him. From the colorful characters to their unique sometimes odd lifestyles, viewers (and readers) will see a real heart pounding drama, as well as the real irony of the play. * I enjoyed The Cherry Orchard. Although it was hard to get into at first, I was really pulled into after learning the various histories in the different characters. It is indeed a very interesting play. To me the most interesting thing about the play and its origins is that the author, Anton Chekhov, believed his play was in fact a comedy. I can hardly see where this notion would come from because in my personal opinion it is a drama. Even though there are many characters in this otherwise short play, the main ones that stick out in my mind are Ranevskaya and Lopakhin. It is these two that, in my opinion, the play centered around. I feel this mainly because they are connected in way other than a blood relation. This relation being that of two descendents of two families that are so deeply rooted with each other.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.