In the plays The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov, A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, and Galileo by Bertolt Brecht, the protagonists' mental beliefs combine reality and illusion that both shape the plot of each respective story. The ability of the characters to reject or accept an illusion, along with the foolish pride that motivated their decision, leads to their personal downfall.
In The Cherry Orchard, by Anton Chekhov, Gayev and Miss Ranevsky, along with the majority of their family, refuse to believe that their estate is close to bankruptcy. Instead of accepting the reality of their problem, they continue to live their lives under the illusion that they are doing well financially. The family continues with its frivolous ways until there is no money left (the final night they have in the house before it is auctioned, they throw an extravagant party, laughing in the face of impending financial ruin) Even when Lopakhin attempts to rescue the family with ideas that could lead to some of the estate being retained, they dismiss his ideas under the illusion that the situation is not so desperate that they need to compromise any of their dignity.
Lopakhin: As you know, your cherry orchardOes being sold to pay your debts. The auction is on the twenty second of August. But there's no need to worry, my dear. You can sleep soundly. There's a way out. Here's my plan. Listen carefully, please. Your estate is only about twelve miles from town, and the railway is not very far away. Now all you have to do is break up your cherry orchard and the land along the river into building plots and lease them out for country cottages. You'll then have an income of at least twenty-five thousand a year.