The Cherry Orchard Short Summary
“The Cherry Orchard”, written in the year 1903, marked the last play by Anton Chekhov. The author categorized this play in the comic genre with few farce elements. However, some consider it a tragedy.
A Brief Plot Overview
The first act opens with Lopakhin and Dunyasha waiting for the Ranevskaya to arrive. Lopakhin is a businessman, while Dunyasha is the maid. At midnight, Lubov Ranevskaya (the mistress), Anya (her daughter) and Gaev (Lubov’s brother) arrive. They are accompanied by the governess, a family friend, and other servants. Lubov’s foster daughter, Varya, is present too.
The main matter to be discussed is Lopakhin’s failure to propose to Varya and Lubov’s loss of his money, necessitating the sale of the cherry orchard to repay their debts. Lopakhin suggests clearing of their land for lease, but Lubov and Gaev are against it. Trofimov arrives, and Lubov cries since he brings memories of her late son.
The second act begins with a barbeque at the cherry orchard. Lopakhin arrives with aristocrats. Trofimov also enters with Varya and Anya. They discuss trivial matters before a drunk, homeless man arrives and begs for money. Lubov grants him a piece of gold and then regrets afterward. Finally, all the other characters leave. Anya and Trofimov are left alone. He manages to convince her that the cherry orchard symbolizes her family’s injustice on others.
Act III takes place sometime in August at the family estate. Ranevskaya has thrown a party in anticipation of Lopakhin’s and Gaev’s arrival from auctioning the cherry orchard. Lubov has been extremely anxious to know what conspired it. Upon hearing that Lopakhin, the son of a former worker within the estate, purchased the orchard, Lubov is extremely disappointed. Anya then consoles him.
Act IV occurs in October, and the setting is just outside the estate. Everybody is leaving, and Lopakhin offers champagne. Every character bids their last farewell to the house as he or she exits. Trofimov and Anya are joyous about what the future holds. However, Gaev and Lubov are agitated. Lubov asks about the health of Fiers and whether Lopakhin will propose to Anya. He learns that Fiers had indeed been hospitalized and Lophakin will not propose. After everybody leaves, Fiers walks into the stage. He has been neglected all this time. He quietly lies down.