Quotes in The Cherry Orchard

Quotes Examples in The Cherry Orchard:

Act II 2

"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...."   (Act II)

Madame Ranevsky claims that Lopakhin should not go see plays, suggesting that going to watch life as it’s portrayed in a theater is a waste of time; that looking at one’s own life is entertainment enough. On one level, her advice is ironic because she has yet to constructively examine her own life. On another, Lopakhin’s agreement that “we live a silly life” perhaps serves as Chekhov commenting on the absurd, comic nature of his characters and play. They and their silly lives are just there to entertain; they provide distraction and frivolous entertainment for theater goers.

". For it's so clear that in order to begin to live in the present we must first redeem the past, and that can only be done by suffering, by strenuous, uninterrupted labour. ..."   (Act II)

Trofimov believes that Russia’s past is one of horror and deep shame. He sees the history of serfdom in the orchard and comments on how Russia has not yet decided how to deal with its past. Trofimov urges that Russia needs to accept and “redeem” the past in order to move towards the future. Trofimov perspective is one of the many different views towards Old Russia held by characters in the play.

"You boldly look forward, isn't it because you cannot foresee or expect anything terrible, because so far life has been hidden from your young eyes? ..."   (Act III)

Madame Ranevsky (Lubov) uses the extended metaphor of sight to represent conflict between young and old, ignorant and knowledgeable. She suggests that Trofimov is only hopeful for the future because he is yet to experience the horrible things in life. Lubov’s pessimistic outlook echoes many of the older characters’ attitudes, and underlines central themes of time and change.

"A hungry dog only believes in meat..."   (Act III)

With this line, Pischin makes a direct comparison between hunger and money. Just like how a hungry dog can only focus on food, Pischin argues, a poor man can only focus on money. This comparison suggests that Pischin believes that any non-monetary concerns are luxuries for the rich, who can afford to think about other things.