Love In Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard

733 words - 3 pages

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. In The Cherry Orchard, this is most evident in the condition of the former serf, Firs. He expresses his desire for the security and order found in serfdom. United under the banner of love and freedom the lower and middle class fought to gain liberation from the old feudal system. However, this only helped to weaken the economic status of the nobility, thus giving the growing middle class and opportunity to flourish. Once the middle class had acquired their wealth they quickly abandoned their Romantic ideals.

It is this perversion of the concept of love that Peter finds so disheartening. Thus he and Anya are above love. According to Peter their whole purpose in life is to, “bypass everything that is petty and illusory”(p. 729). Unlike Mrs. Ranvsky who is enamored with her “darling little bookcase” and her “sweet little table”, or Gayev who is obsessed with billiards and candy, Peter voices the need for a personal separation from such material distractions (p. 714).

The need for a separation from false love is still a very real concern today; a concern that I aimed to illustrate in this mobile. The pictures on the mobile are examples of the things we choose to love. As adults and young adults today we have a tendency to allow ourselves to be consumed by the material and the superficial. How often have we caught ourselves pronouncing our love for the new ipod we just purchased, an expensive accessory, our cars or our cell phones? We love our stuff, we are constantly...

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