The Cherry Orchard

Lessons of the Cherry Orchard College

Anton Chekhov’s play “The Cherry Orchard” is labeled a comedy, however, it has a handful of meaningful lessons that can be learned from the characters featured in the play. These character’s debacles and actions act almost as a social commentary for the industrial era in which the play was written. One of the characters that best represent this idea is the maid Dunyasha. Dunyasha is a maid with a background of poverty but her job has her constantly surrounded by the lives of the “wealthy” Raynevskaya family. She has gotten so use to being around “their lifestyle” (Chekhov 864) that she subconsciously attempts to live as they do. However, whenever she outwardly acts as a higher class individual, there is always a person who is actually of the upper class to put Dunyasha in her place. With her, Lopakhin is also treated differently due to his poor past despite rising to the middle class. The idea of never being able to rise above the class a person is born into was prominent during the early industrial era however this idea would soon change with the introduction of the middle class. Both of these ideas are seen throughout the play and prove to be one of the most prominent lessons that Chekhov wished to teach the audience.

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