Three Sisters

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Three Sisters "Life isn't easy, at times it seems stupid, but it keeps getting better and better." - Vershinin Anton Checkhov's play, Three Sisters, is a powerful play about three sisters longing for change and happiness. It takes place at the turn of the twentieth century in a provincial Russian town. The characters question their suffering and the meaning of their lives. In the end, they come to the conclusion that they live a life of suffering so that their descendants can live a life of happiness.

The play opens on May 5; the youngest sister Irina's twentieth birthday, and the one year anniversary of their father's death. All three sisters are dissatisfied with their lives. The only married sister is Masha, the middle sister, and she is terribly unhappy in her marriage and has a brief affair with colonel Vershinin, a man she truly loves. The oldest sister, Olga, takes the job she doesn't want as the headmistress of a local.

The youngest sister, Irina, longs to return to their hometown of Moscow. To Irina, Moscow represents a place of happiness and fulfillment. She also wishes to work and have a meaningful life. When she finds a job at the telegraph office, she hates it, and believes it has no meaning. At the end of the play she'll start a job as a teacher and never makes it to Moscow.

The sister's brother Andrei's life deteriorates in front of the audiences' eyes. Andrei is a very intellectual man and gifted violinist who falls in love with Natasha. After marrying Natasha, Andrei separates himself from his family and looses his dreams of being a professor at a University in Moscow.

Chekhov presents interesting ideas and views on life in this play. First, many characters say that they're "bored". One character comments that being bored leads to gossip, drinking, cheating, and lying. This is proven by several characters: the old doctor, Chebutykin, has a drinking problem; Masha, Vershinin, and Natasha have all cheated on their spouses; and all characters lied at one point or another. The old doctor keeps on bringing up the point that we don't exist, we just look like we do.

Vershinin, the colonel, is a wise character with a different view on life. He believes that the whole point of our existence is to make the world a better place for our descendants. We're not supposed to be happy, happiness is reserved for our descendants. He uses the philosophy that three people in a town with ideas of change and hope will spread out to six people. Then more and more people will want to change the world, and eventually the world will become a better, beautiful place. His view on life is that it keeps getting better and better.

The first lieutenant, on the other hand, believes that people a hundred years from now will still have the same suffering and live in the same misery that they actually do. He doesn't believe that the world is going to get better and that people will be happy.