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Techniques Used by Chekhov

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A character refers to any meticulous participant in a piece of literature and is usually a person who assists in unfolding of events. A character may be fictional or entirely be based upon real or past entities. The art of characterization is an important aspect especially when the author of a literal piece is contemplating conveying a particular message that affects an individual or the society at large.

In the play “the cherry orchard”, the writer has successfully deployed different kinds of actors for the purpose of passing the message to the audience. He has used both genders in a way that depicts equivalence. These characters have been deployed at various instances in the play with a core intention of portraying major theme of the play: opportunism. In order to answer the question put forth by the assignment, the author has used several techniques that have facilitated in depicting change of character traits throughout the play. The two characters that the assignment will focus upon are: Lopakhin and Lubov the latter is the protagonist while the former being portrayed as an antagonist. The play revolves around the life of Lubov who happens to be in the verge of insolvency. She has just arrived from Paris where she had escaped with her former husband and Anya (her youngest daughter). Upon her return, she receives news that she was to pay the accumulated interests. She is always nervous throughout the play as she is purportedly broke to repay the money. Lopakhin, a merchant, pushes for the sale of the land insisting that it’s the only possible way for Lubov to raise the amount needed. When he notices that Lubov has become so desperate, he takes that opportunity and buys the land and immediately evacuates them from her property.

The writer uses far too many techniques to bring about this shift. He depicts characters’ appearances, their respective reactions to particular subjects, their individual speech and behaviors let alone their thoughts and feelings for the purpose of portraying their respective changes. For instance, in act one, Lopakhin becomes the man who waits for the arrival of Lubov from Paris while in the very last act, that is, act four, he is the same man who shows her and her extended family out of the “cherry orchard”. He is cunning throughout the play and calculates every move he makes. He knows vey well that Lubov will loose her stand and sale the property which he in turn uses to his own advantage: he buys the property. When Lubov becomes hopeless and desperate she retorts that God was behind all her misfortunes and that it was time to take away the burden laid on her shoulder. She reminisces about the events she’s been through; her former husband tricking her into moving to Paris only to dump her for another woman yet she still claims that she loves him dearly. This speech makes her vulnerable to Lopakhin who uses every bit of information from her to make good his plan. The writer portrays Lopakhin as a very stringent and hot-tempered man especially when he misinterprets Trofimov words and proceeds to warn him harshly.

When Lopakhin finally manages to purchase the land, he changes drastically and becomes loud and proud at the same time. He boasts of how his father was just but a mere servant and that his grandfather a slave yet he has made it and is on his way to become a millionaire. Lubov, changes to become a relaxed woman particularly when she is caught in disbelief about Lopakhin. She never expected Lopakhin to purchase her property and when she gets informed about the new owner of the property she becomes skeptical. Lopakhin was expected to marry Varya, but his behavior changes and when he finally buys the property he becomes disinterested with her and in fact watches her as she leaves without saying anything. Varya says in Act 3,

“I can't propose to him myself, little mother. People have been talking about him to me for two years now, but he either says nothing, or jokes about it. I understand. He's getting rich, he's busy, and he can't bother about me” (west 3). 

When her husband cheats on her, Lubov feels that she has had enough and it was about time she starts afresh. This feeling however does not last for long since she retorts that she had always loved him and to prove it she gets on a train back to Paris to meet him and start a new life with him.

The writer has also used the art of music to facilitate the change as depicted by the two characters. When Lubov hires musicians to perform in her home, she manages to calm Trofimov after insulting him. She takes his hand and the two commence to the dancing floor. This eases Trofimov pain and the condition becomes usual again.  The writer shifts the setting of the play through different climates to depict passage of time and also uses this mode of technique to show how this passage has in effect constituted in swinging of the character’ traits. In the first act, the setting is described as calm and chilly with some elements of sunshine penetrating through. This description introduces us to an ever friendly Lopakhin. While in the last act, act four, the setting changes drastically to an empty house with little pieces of furniture and the outside is experiencing a dry weather. This is a reflection of the cruelty and greedy side of Lopakhin as he rushes to evacuate Lubov and her family (west 4).  

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