Class Conflict in The Cherry Orchard

However, even these turn out to be the figurative representation of what Chekhov was conveying as regards the conflict of social classes that existed then. Such style of writing a play or presenting the series of events is, however, expected of Chekhov. His was not storyteller know for the fantastic. What he was most known for was his ability to present a very ordinary situation that could be construed as a scene loaded with an extended metaphor. Haslam explains that Chekhov “is often seen as a stimulating, rather than a dogmatic, author – one who resists telling people what to think” (2005, p. 20). Instead of spoon-feeding the audience the concepts that he wishes to convey, Chekhov merely arouses the audience with striking dialogues. He writes of lines that would leave the audience thinking about the state of affairs in society. It then becomes the responsibility of the audience to react to the insinuations that he conveys in his play.
Chekhov has shown his trust in the capabilities of the audience to grasp the essential but less conspicuous features of The Cherry Orchard. Throughout the whole play, one could barely read any line that directly discusses this particular issue. In all the four acts, what is more, obvious are the scenes and dialogues that portray the human emotion when it comes to matters of the heart, to subjects pertaining to the loss of properties with sentimental value, and even to gaiety amidst the controversies brought about by social changes in the play’s historical setting. Nevertheless, in the middle of Act II, Chekhov sheds off the trimmings and goes down expressing his concepts on the social conditions of the time. He does not go to the extent of telling the audience his own standpoint though. However, by explaining the stratification of Russian society and the conflicts arising among the classes, formulating assumptions on Chekhov’s view on society and social change is not complicated.

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