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I am an intern who is teaching in high school in India. In the syllabus, I got across Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" in Hindi. After discussing the book with the students, I found out that there were two groups in the discussion. A group supporting Trofimov and the main character, well other said Lophakhin. In the book, Lopakhin is a realist, while Trofimov is an idealist. This inquiry is very interesting, and there are no online sources to the topic of the contrast between these two characters. So, If you have any opinion or interpretation, please share.

  • "A group supporting Trofimov and the main character, well other said Lophakhin." Could you explain why each group supported their character? That would help us give you better answers. – user111 Sep 26 '17 at 18:19
  • Excellent question. Welcome to Lit! – DukeZhou Sep 27 '17 at 20:25
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When you mention the "main character", I'm going to assume you are referring to Madame Ranyevskaya. (Checkov's plays tend to be ensemble pieces, and I'm not sure it's useful to designate a main character, but Madame R. may qualify as the central character in that everything revolves around her, and she is the symbol for the vestigial aristocracy that was at the center of the social upheaval taking place in Russia around and after Checkov's time.)

Regarding Trofimov vs. Lopakhin

  • Trofimov is an idealist because he is young, inexperienced, and has a lot of free time
  • Lopakhin is a pragmatist because he has more experience, and comes from a lower social class without the luxury of leisure

Don't forget that, towards the end of his life, Checkov declared his plays farces and they are undoubtedly comic, which accounts for their bittersweet quality. Most great tragedy contains comic elements, either wordplay or irony, but Checkov merges the two forms better than most.

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