The Cherry Orchard Comedy

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Comedy is often closely linked with hypocrisy. Show that Chekov’s use of hypocrisy in characterization adds to the comedic effect but also shows the blindness of the characters in recognizing the flaw in themselves. In this authors opinion Mrs. Ranevsky and Lopakhin are the two most hypocritical characters of this play. Though they might be thought of as polar opposites in all aspects, but they do have a very basic similarity; they are both extremely materialistic. This is a flaw which is very evident throughout the play. Other than their materialism the two characters have a very stark contrast in their idealisms. Lyuba spends her days thinking of the old cherry orchard and how it provided financially for her family’s needs, while Lopakhin thinks of the cherry orchard and how it has kept him from attaining an education and refinement. Mrs. Ranevsky, like many of Russia’s previous land and surf owners, cannot disassociate herself from dwelling on the past. Lyuba spends her days reminiscing on the wonderful days of old. Lyuba’s childhood was a wonderful time of her life. The use of surfs created a freedom for the landowners to gain maximum profits from their endeavors. Without the surfs Mrs. Ranevsky is lost and feels that the only way in which she can regain a morsel of the happiness that she once possessed is to dwell on the past and bask in her forefather’s wealth. Though Mrs. Ranevsky is clinging to her past wealth, she is unwilling to take action in the preservation of the things she holds most dear. When presented with the opportunity to create a sustainable income with only the sacrifice of her cherry orchard, she clings bitterly to the land on which her childhood memories took place. Chekhov is the dramatist, not of action, but of inaction. The tragedy of inaction is as overwhelming, when we understand it. By simply walking into
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