Tuesday, 24 May 2016
EXPLANATION WITH REFERENCE TO THE CONTEXT: THE CHERRY ORCHARD BY ANTON CHEKHOV
Oh, my childhood, days of my innocence! In this nursery I used to sleep; I used to look out from here into the Orchard. Happiness used to wake with me every morning, and then it was just as it is now; nothing has changed.
Oh, my childhood .......... nothing has changed.
(i) Drama: The Cherry Orchard
(ii) Dramatist: Anton Chekhov
(i) Occurrence: Act 1
(ii) Content: Madam Ranvesky returns from Paris, along with her daughter Anya to her family estate in Russia. Varya, Ranevsky's adopted daughter, reveals that the family's estate, a cherry orchard, is to be sold at auction in order to pay their debts. Lopakhin, a businessman, proposes solutions to save the estate. Auction day arrives, however, the family essentially does nothing and the play ends with the sale of the estate to Lopakhin. The family leaves to the sound of the cherry orchard being cut down.
In these lines Madame Ranevsky reminisces about her innocent childhood and the joys she experienced in the cherry orchard. Ranevsky has just returned to her estate after five years in self-imposed exile in France, and she and her family and friends are all congregated together in the "nursery". While looking out the window, Ranevsky remembers that this is the room where she used to sleep in her childhood. This is the room from where she used to look out her beloved cherry orchard every morning. Her childhood was a period of bliss and felicity. In that period she did not have any materialistic worries and various responsibilities. Thus happiness used to wake with her every morning. She thinks that the nursery, the cherry orchard and her looking out the cherry orchard from the window are just the same as those were in her childhood. She assumes that nothing has changed. However, "nothing has changed" is a very ironical statement. Because everything has changed; serfs have been freed, the trees don't yield fruit, the state is about to be sold. In short, Ranevsky is an escapist. In order to avoid the stark realities of life, she wants to flee into her innocent and cheery past.