Panchronic comedy: past to future trajectory of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard

FOXCROFT, NIGEL (2011) Panchronic comedy: past to future trajectory of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities, 30. pp. 139-53. ISSN 1024-3131

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Abstract

In consideration of whether (or not) characters can change their future, Chekhov’s original intention as to the atmosphere of The Cherry Orchard has been much misunderstood by directors (e.g. Stanislavsky) and critics alike; his play was conceived as being not a tragedy but a comedy. This necessitates a full consideration of the nature of Chekhovian humour and its links to ‘laughter through tears’ in Dead Souls, Gogol’s spiritual odyssey. Chekhov’s comic protagonists highlight certain attributes of Mrs Lyuba Ranevsky’s character, the dominant theme being the inescapability of socio-economic transformation. Indeed, nearly every character is observed in relationship to status and wealth. As the epitome of change, the self-made, pragmatic merchant, Lopakhin acts as a bridge between the past and the present, between the old world and the new, though, like Chekhov himself, he is receptive to literature, theatre, and beauty. Combining naturalism and symbolism, The Cherry Orchard emphasizes psychology of character rather than plot. Influenced by the plight of the ‘superfluous man’ in Ivan Turgenev’s works, Chekhov presents us with the transformation of the Russian intellectual into Trofimov, the idealist thinker. Seen by different characters in different ways, the crucial image of the Cherry Orchard itself spans personal memories and historical events. In Chekhov’s own blend of panchronic comedy, its axe connects the past to the future destiny of Mother Russia on the threshold of a new revolutionary era.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Panchronic; comedy; past; future; Anton Chekhov; Chekhov; A. P. Chekhov; Russian literature; English literature; play; drama; The Cherry Orchard; Stanislavsky; tragedy; Chekhovian humour; laughter through tears; Dead Souls; Gogol; Nikolai Gogol; N. V. Gogol; Ranevsky; Mrs Lyuba Ranevsky; Lyuba Ranevsky; socio-economic; transformation; Lopakhin; the present; theatre; naturalism; symbolism; superfluous man; Ivan Turgenev; Turgenev; I. S. Turgenev; nineteenth-century Russian literature; Golden Age; Trofimov; Mother Russia; revolution.
Subjects: C000 Biological and Biomedical Sciences > C800 Psychology
C000 Biological and Biomedical Sciences > C800 Psychology > C810 Applied Psychology
L000 Social Sciences
L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology
L000 Social Sciences > L900 Cultural Studies
Q000 Languages and Literature - Linguistics and related subjects
Q000 Languages and Literature - Linguistics and related subjects > Q200 Comparative Literary studies
Q000 Languages and Literature - Linguistics and related subjects > Q300 English studies
Q000 Languages and Literature - Linguistics and related subjects > R700 Russian and East European Studies
V000 Historical and Philosophical studies
V000 Historical and Philosophical studies > V100 History by period
V000 Historical and Philosophical studies > V100 History by period > V140 Modern History
V000 Historical and Philosophical studies > V200 History by area
V000 Historical and Philosophical studies > V200 History by area > V220 European History
V000 Historical and Philosophical studies > V200 History by area > V270 World History
Faculties: Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Converis
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2010 08:56
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2013 16:25
URI: http://eprints.brighton.ac.uk/id/eprint/7965

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