THe Cherry Orchard

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SYMBOLISM IN THE CHERRY ORCHARD Anton Chekhov?s The Cherry Orchard has been proclaimed as one of the greatest theatrical experiences of all time. His use of subtle and persuasive writing techniques portrays many different themes throughout the play, one of which is symbolism. Chekhov uses the cherry orchard and its sale to see the inner thoughts of the characters. Through clearly seeing the inner feelings of the characters we then see the symbolic meaning brought to the play. Therefore to filly understand symbolism in the play, it is imperative to examine several major characters: Madame Ranevsky, Trofimov, Firs and Lopahin.

There are many examples of symbolism in The Cherry Orchard. A symbol in the broadest senses ? is anything which signifies something? (Abram, 206). When discussing a symbol or symbolism in literary terms it is then ?applied only to a word or phrase that signifies something or has a range of reference, beyond itself? (Abram, 206).

From this definition of symbolism in literature, it is very difficult to count the examples of symbolism in The Cherry Orchard, because they are too numerous; however, a majority of the symbols presented in the play are from the inner sensitivities of the major characters. Each of the major roles in the play presents a different meaning of the cherry orchard and its sale.

To Madame Ranevsky, the cherry orchard represents her childhood and past, as well as, her former innocence and embodiment of her best values (Peace, 136). By contradiction, many people or the audience view the orchard as an ambiguous and poetic symbol of any human life that is in a state of change. In other words, the cherry orchard Symbolizes Russia in a state of change. Ranevsky is incapable of adapting, which is proved when she gives her purse to the...