Literary Devices in The Cherry Orchard
Indirect Action: Many important events take place off stage, a technique known as indirect action that Chekov was known to employ. Grisha’s drowning, for example, continues to affect Mme. Ravensky despite its having occurred prior to the play’s beginning. What is arguably the most consequential event—the sale of the Ranevskys’ estate—transpires in between acts. As a consequence, the audience must infer what happens through characters’ reactions to events rather than directly spectating on them. This focuses the audience’s attention on the psychological and emotional states of the characters.
Microcosm: A microcosm is a representation of a situation or place on a smaller scale. In this case, the play’s estate and characters serve as a likeness to Russian societal change. Various opinions and archetypes of Russian thought are present—for example, Mme. Ravensky portrays maladaptive yet kind aristocracy while Lopakhin stands in for the class of newly freed serfs.
Literary Devices Examples in The Cherry Orchard:
"I've several remedies, very many, and that really means I've none at all...." See in text (Act I)
"Father died six years ago, and a month later my brother Grisha was drowned in the river--such a dear little boy of seven! Mother couldn't bear it; she went away, away, without looking round......" See in text (Act I)
"I'm quite sure there wasn't anything at all funny. You oughtn't to go and see plays, you ought to go and look at yourself...." See in text (Act II)
"They say that I've eaten all my substance in sugar-candies. [Laughs.]..." See in text (Act II)