Tragically Inane The Cherry Orchard And Six — страница 3
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you make up your mind about there are to be villas, you can get all the money you want, and you’re saved. Madame Ranevsky: Villas and villa residents, oh, please… it’s so vulgar! Madame Ranevsky looks to the past for her reality. We are used to this, it is her flaw. But we can see her viewpoint clearly. It would certainly be nice if things were as pleasant as she sees the past. And this solution that Lopakhin is presenting is clearly uncomfortable. To sell the great emblem of their past, the cherry orchard, would be a travesty. And to live next to people who would live in villas… It’s clearly a distressing future that Madame Ranevsky pictures, and the audience knows how she feels and can sympathize. But on the other hand, she’s simply ignoring the reality of the present. It’s clear her orchard is going to be destroyed – why not take the pragmatic approach and get money out of it so she can live comfortably? Get the worst over with, and move on. It’s so frustrating that Lopakhin clearly presents what will happen to the orchard, and that Madame Ranevsky rejects this out of hand and ignores the inevitable to continue to ask again and again until, maybe, she gets an answer she wants. The audience can sympathize with the frustration in Lopakhin as he tries to convince Madame Ranevsky. This inherent contradiction with a clear-cut reality is exactly what Chekhov is trying to achieve in The Cherry Orchard. It predicts the father’s argument in Six Characters in Search of an Author as he tries to convince the director that nothing is truly real. Reality is subjective. Chekhov is forcing us to see that reality is not a tidy little package where characters enter and exit at exactly the right time. He wants to show human interaction as it is really is. So-called scholars pontificate about nothing, others obsess superficially about themselves, and those who seem to be living fairly logically are extremely narrow-minded when it comes to understanding others. The final key to understanding how crucially important these inanities of life are to Chekhov’s play is the action of the play. Nothing that happens on stage changes the situation of the characters in it one bit. None of the really important events occur on stage. The selling of the orchard, the chopping down of the orchard; all of it happens offstage. This tells the audience that the important part of The Cherry Orchard (and by extension, plays in general) is the human interaction. The plot means nothing in comparison with the specific traits and flaws given each character. That is what truly makes the play great. It is reality; everyone talks, no one listens, and no one changes. Chekhov has predated Pirandello in this technique that rips down conventions of the theatre. He paves the way for Pirandello to present Six Characters in Search of an Author. The father merely expresses what the audience knows, at least subconsciously, while watching The Cherry Orchard. The action the audience is forced to recognize in Six Characters is subtly broached in Chekhov’s play. It is discussion, and it is real discussion. People are different, and people are unpredictable. Reality is tragically inane, and that is what the theatre shows best.