T He Cherry Orchard Essay

1508 words - 6 pages

SYMBOLISM IN THE CHERRY ORCHARD Anton Chekhov?s The Cherry Orchard has been proclaimed as one of the greatest theatrical experiences of all time. His use of subtle and persuasive writing techniques portrays many different themes throughout the play, one of which is symbolism. Chekhov uses the cherry orchard and its sale to see the inner thoughts of the characters. Through clearly seeing the inner feelings of the characters we then see the symbolic meaning brought to the play. Therefore to filly understand symbolism in the play, it is imperative to examine several major characters: Madame Ranevsky, Trofimov, Firs and Lopahin.There are many examples of symbolism in The Cherry Orchard. A symbol in the broadest senses ? is anything which signifies something? (Abram, 206). When discussing a symbol or symbolism in literary terms it is then ?applied only to a word or phrase that signifies something or has a range of reference, beyond itself? (Abram, 206). From this definition of symbolism in literature, it is very difficult to count the examples of symbolism in The Cherry Orchard, because they are too numerous; however, a majority of the symbols presented in the play are from the inner sensitivities of the major characters. Each of the major roles in the play presents a different meaning of the cherry orchard and its sale.To Madame Ranevsky, the cherry orchard represents her childhood and past, as well as, her former innocence and embodiment of her best values (Peace, 136). By contradiction, many people or the audience view the orchard as an ambiguous and poetic symbol of any human life that is in a state of change. In other words, the cherry orchard Symbolizes Russia in a state of change. Ranevsky is incapable of adapting, which is proved when she gives her purse to the peasants at the door. This gesture represents failure to be realistic about her financial circumstances. Madame Ranevsky?s inability to adapt to her changing life style is also evident at the beginning of the play. She is convinced possesses excessiveness and believes that she is still a wealthy woman, when in turn her assets are dwindling. She demonstrates this when she drops her purse (Smith, J. Paul). While fetching her purse she is muttering to herself that she does not have enough money to pay for her mortgage, yet she gives Pishtchik money when he asked for it. While coming back from getting her purse she accidentally drops it. This action is represents the way she behaves. She is very careless with her money, even though in reality she may not want to act this way. She also tells of there being insufficient funds for the servants, but then dines out at restaurants and tips the waiter with gold. Her words suggest that she wants to save her money, ?Oh my dins! I?ve always thrown my money away recklessly like a lunatic ?? (Beaty and Hunter, 1352). Madame Ranvesky is naïve to the changes in society, but the cherry orchard will always be a place of happiness to her.Opposed to...

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