Marriage Proposal

A Marriage Proposal (sometimes translated as simply The Proposal, Russian: ???????????) is a one-act farce by Anton Chekhov, written in 1888-1889 and first performed in 1890. It is a fast-paced play of dialogue-based action and situational humour. Characters Stepan Stepanovitch Tschubokov, 70 years old, a landowner •Natalia Stepanovna, his daughter, 25 years old Ivan Vassiliyitch Lomov, 35 years old, a neighbour of Tschubukov, a large and hearty, but very suspicious landowner Plot synopsis Ivan Vassiliyitch Lomov, a long-time neighbor of Stepan Stepanovitch Chubukov, has come to propose marriage to Chubukov’s 25-year-old daughter, Natalia. After he has asked and received joyful permission to marry Natalia, she is invited into the room, and he tries to convey to her the proposal.
Lomov is a hypochondriac, and, while trying to make clear his reasons for being there, he gets into an argument with Natalia about The Oxen Meadows, a disputed piece of land between their respective properties, which results in him having “palpitations” and numbness in his leg. After her father notices they are arguing, he joins in, and then sends Ivan out of the house. While Stepan rants about Lomov, he expresses his shock that “this fool dares to make you (Natalia) a proposal of marriage! ” This news she immediately starts into hysterics, begging for her father to bring him back.
He does, and Natalia and Ivan get into a second big argument, this time about the superiority of their respective hunting dogs, Otkatai and Ugadi. Ivan collapses from his exhaustion over arguing, and father and daughter fear he’s died. However, after a few minutes he regains consciousness, and Tschubukov all but forces him and his daughter to accept the proposal with a kiss. Immediately following the kiss, the couple get into another argument. Themes The farce explores the process of getting married and could be read as a satire on the upper middle class and courtship.

The play points out the struggle to balance the economic necessities of marriage and what the characters themselves actually want. It shows the characters’ desperation for marriage as comical. In Chekhov’s Russia, marriage was a mean of economic stability for most people. They married to gain wealth and possessions or to satisfy social pressure. The satire is conveyed successfully by emphasizing the couple’s foolish arguments over small things. The main arguments in the play revolve around The Oxen Meadows and two dogs called Ugadi and Otkatai. Performance history The Proposal was successful in its first runs in St.
Petersburg and Moscow, and quickly became popular in small towns across Russia. [1] Tsar Alexander III liked the play when he had it performed for him. [2] Chekhov himself thought farces were not really worth much as literature; before its success, he called The Proposal a “wretched, boring, vulgar little skit. “[3] He advised its director, Leontiev, to “roll cigarettes out of it for all I care. “[3] When Vassar College staged The Proposal in the 1920s, they performed it three times in one evening, each with a very different staging: “as realism, expressionism, and constructivism. [2] In the second version, played closer to tragedy, the actors were masked, and in the third the actors were all dressed in work suits in a playground, tossing a ball between them. [2] In 1935 in the Soviet Union, the seminal Russian theatre practitioner Vsevolod Meyerhold combined The Proposal with Chekhov’s other short plays The Bear and The Anniversary to form a three-act play called 33 Swoons that demonstrated the weakness of the pre-revolutionary intelligentsia. [4] [hide]v • d • eWorks by Anton Chekhov Biography • Bibliography Plays
Platonov (1881) • On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco (1886, 1902) • Swansong (1887) • Ivanov (1887) • The Bear (1888) • A Reluctant Tragic Hero (1889) • The Wedding (1889) • The Wood Demon (1889) • A Marriage Proposal (1890) • The Festivities (1891) • The Seagull (1896) • Uncle Vanya (1897) • Three Sisters (1901) • The Cherry Orchard (1904) NovellasThe Shooting Party (1884) • The Steppe (1888) • The Duel (1891) • The Story of an Unknown Man (1893) • Three Years (1895) • My Life (1896) Related articlesChekhov’s gun •Analysis of Anton Chechov’s play.
Plot of courtship of Lomov and neighbor’s daughter Natalya. Importance of land and money to the characters. Reasons for their constant fighting. Depiction of the rual social system and its relationship to the characters. The play as a metaphor for marriage as a continuing battle ground. •From the Paper: •”In the short play “A Marriage Proposal,” Anton Chekhov describes the odd courtship of Lomov, who seeks a marriage with his neighbor’s daughter. Lomov and the woman he wants to marry fight before he can make his proposal, fight while he proposes, and fight after she agrees to marry him.
They tend to fight every time they speak to one another, and while this alarms her father at first, he decides that the two just like to fight with each other. In the end, the father calls this last fight the “beginning of family happiness,” though it is doubtful that a couple can fight all the time and achieve anything like bliss. The meeting between Lomov and Tchubukov suggests one sort of neighborhood arrangement, for Tchubukov could not be friendlier and more delighted to see Lomov, happier being asked about the marriage, and more positive about Lomov’s prospects. •A Marriage Proposal is a text play written by Russian writer, Anton Chekhov, and then it is translated into English version by Hilmar Baukhage and Barrett H. Clark. The story is initiated by the explanation of setting in the text play which takes place in the reception room at Tschubukov’s country home, in Russia. There are merely three characters involved in this text play namely: Stepan Stepanovitch Tschubukov (Natalia’s father), Natalia Stepanovna (Stepan’s daughter, 25 years old)), and Ivan Vassiliyitch Lomov (Stepan’s neighbor who falls for Natalia).
The plot of the text play has been so hilarious and entertaining. It simply enlightens readers that two people who fall in love each other can never be entirely united if they cannot take the edge off their own selfishness. •Each character actually holds different identifying features but in general we can conclude that they share the same attitude, i. e. egoistic, stubborn, and high self-esteem. They stick to their belief that the meadows—thing which is being tightly debated belong to their own family.
Tschubukov, in fact, agrees to the marriage proposal proposed by his neighbor toward his daughter. But gradually he changes his mind when Lomov starts the debate that the meadows belong to his family. Indeed, Natalia and her father get mad. They simply yet totally debate and argue trivial matters such as dogs and meadows. The ultimate goal, the marriage proposal, should have been achieved earlier if Lomov doesn’t start the debate and Natalia doesn’t respond to every trivial matter in which Lomov states, for they both are fully aware that they love each other. The segmentation of this text play only consists of a single scene. It most likely leads the readers to come up with the idea that it is easily-to-read text play. In this text play, dialogue, as the most prominent primary text, plays a very significant role, for it provides the readers with funny and entertaining dialogue among the three characters. These kinds of dialogue will simply make the readers understand the text comprehensively because readers seems to enjoy a lot a text play with witty and amusing dialogue rather than serious and complicated ones.
Comedy is the generic convention of this text play, for the indication says so—the humor mostly comes from the three characters’ arguments about the meadows and the dogs. The story also employs a tone of irony. Those three characters wish the marriage to be held and done but their insensitivity almost postpones the marriage. As a whole, the story is ended by an open ending. It remains blur to where the story will go but at least, the dispute is resolved. • Anton Chekhov has a unique writing style. He goes to the extreme to prove a point, in this story capital punishment.
In true life, I doubt that a person who would stay imprisoned for fifteen years voluntarily. Also, a bet like this one would have been considered as not authentic, because these gentlemen were having a heated discussion where violence could have possibly taken place. Also both men were young and hot tempered, they made their decisions irrationally without much thought of the consequences this bet does. The banker underestimates his fortune, and is too proud to rethink his offer. The lawyer is also a senseless young man who is a zealot and does not value life as much as his cause.
Another style Chekhov’s writing’s have is the intense physiological transformations each character • •was going through. One moment, which was very apparent, was the banker thinking of the ways of killing the lawyer. He debates in his mind whether to kill him. Slowly he agrees to kill the lawyer and premeditates the murder. The banker believes that the murder would be blamed on the watch and that the lawyer had become so weak that he could easily killed him without struggle. Chekhov was able to weave the thoughts of a character into something dark and evil. He discovers the human personality at its worst.
Another issue Chekhov approaches is greed. Perhaps, the lawyer had taken the bet partially because of the money was worth; the whole story revolves around greed. Also another scene where greed was present was when the banker was speculating how to pay off the lawyer. “Why didn’t t • Genre denotes a systematic way to categorize literature. The term might be considered academic jargon; however, it produces up a set of expectations that allow us to judge literature. These expectations or criteria also allow us to compare with other literature in the same as well as different genres.
In spite of these expectations, genre does not dictate a set of rigid rules; in fact, genre is more descriptive than prescriptive. Problems in defining genre often arise because there are frequently sub-genres: romantic comedy might be considered a sub-genre of comedy, revenge tragedy of tragedy and gothic horror of horror. It becomes increasingly difficult to see where one sub-genre ends and another begins. Also these categories are seldom pure. For example, Hamlet, a revenge tragedy, includes aspects of romance and even a comic scene or two.
Our popular culture makes defining genre challenging because what is vital one day might disappear the next. An example of this is the current insistence upon a happy ending. Since tragedy is often characterized by an unhappy or “right” ending, according to Aristotle, popular culture no longer welcomes the tragedy with the relish it did at other times in history. Our Town being the exception that comes to mind, as well as the one-man shows. Poetry makes frequent use of this voice. In Daddy by Sylvia Plath, the author address “Daddy” throughout the poem.
Shannon Chamberlain’s use of Aesop’s fable The Parrot and his Cage was another example of this single voice narrative. A second voice option is the drama or dialogue that involves talking between two characters with no narration. All of the plays we are reading in class fit this category as well as Stacy Burleson’s example of Merlin as a legend in film. Finally, the combination of the narrator plus dialogue is just as it seems, a narrator talks to the audience (or reader) but the characters talk to each other. The TV shows The Fugitive, Dragnet, and Twilight Zone come to mind as examples of this.
Narrative genre, by contrast, focuses on the storyline or plot. Tragedy frequently introduces a problem, there is struggle for control, finally a realistic and often unhappy ending that resolves the problem. Examples of this include: Romeo and Juliet (Sylvia Duncan’s presentation), the recent Academy Award winner American Beauty and Moby Dick (Doris Herrmann’s presentation). Comedy is another plot or storyline that usually deals with a less significant problem, there is an attempt to solve it, but the ending often brings people together.
Examples of comedy are: Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest, A Marriage Proposal by Anton Chekhov, and the movie Sixteen Candles shown in class by Laura Peterson. Romance may center [or conclude] on a transcendence where the problem often includes separation, a journey or adventure might be included. [The plot of romance would be the struggle to achieve this transcendence or goal. ] Characters are more predictable and are frequently good or bad with very little complexity. The excerpt of Sleepy Hollow shown by Cara Skinner is an example of this. true] Pygmalion and Shakespeare in Love might fit her; however, these characters do show considerably more depth than the norm. [This is a good reminder of how good any genre can be. ] Satire pokes fun at a social situation or institution and assumes the audience is familiar with what is being satirized. There is usually a less serious tone than with the original. Examples are seen in the play within a play in MidSummer Night’s Dream. [good] Political cartoons and Moliere’s The Misanthrope also display elements of a satire.
ThePlay, “A Marriage Proposal”, shows how consideration of property and even our pride in property override other feelings and emotions like those generally associated with love and marriage. Even marriage is prompted by economic considerations, not by emotions. ;nbs p; Stepan Stepanovitch Tschubukov and Ivan Vassiliyitch Lomov were neighbours in a village. Natalia Stepanovna was the daughter of Tschubukov. Lomov a man of thirty five wanted to marry. He thought Natalia was good at farm work and she was not bad looking. So he came to the house of Tschubukov one evening to propose to Natalia.
Naturally he was in his best clothes befitting the occasion of a marriage proposal. Tschubukov received him cordially in his reception room. Like every young man going to make a marriage proposal Lomov was also excited and nervous. After some nervous stammering, he told Tschubokov that he wanted Natalia’s hand in marriage. Tschubokov was very excited and happy at the proposal. He went out and sent Natalia into the room to meet the suitor. Natalia was not told of the purpose of Lomov. Natalia and Lomov began to talk. ;nbs p; Lomov was more nervous as he was facing the bride. He made a strong preface before coming to the proposal.
He told Natalia about how the Lomovs and the Tschubukovs had been good neighbours on good terms for many years. In this context, he mentioned that his meadow touched the birch woods of Tschubukov. Natalia was surprised to hear that the meadows belonged to Lomov. She claimed that the plot of land belonged to them, the Tschubukovs. A bitter quarrel ensued. Lomov claimed it belonged to him and Natalia too claimed it to be theirs. Lomov forgot his original purpose. They called each other names, even though a little while ago they were full of good neighbourly feelings. Tschubukov came in and heard their quarrel.
He too claimed that the meadow belonged to him. The quarrel grew even bitterer. They called each other names and began to expose the scandals of each others’ families. Lomov had a weak heart. He used to have palpitation in the heart. He was excited and he fainted. He rose and left the house. At this juncture, Tschubukov remarked that such a fool had dared to come seeking the hand of Natalia. ;nbs p; The moment she heard that he had come to propose to her, Natalia changed her tone. She asked her father to bring back Lomov. Her self interest overruled all other considerations like her loyalty to her family.
Lomov came back. Natalia was all politeness. She even conceded that the meadow belonged to Lomov. After all, if they were married, the meadow would come to be hers only. Lomov informed that he would go hunting after the harvest. He was sorry that his dog Ugadi limped and he began to praise his dog. He thought that a hundred and twenty five roubles that he had paid for it was very cheap for such a good dog. Natalia, however, thought that it was a very high price because her father had paid only eighty-five roubles for their dog Otkatai, which was a better dog than Ugadi. nbs p; Lomov disagreed and asserted that Otkatai had a lower jaw and Ugadi was a far better dog than Otkatai. Once again their pride in their dogs led to another quarrel. Tschubukov came in and joined the quarrel. Lomov once again got excited and he fainted. Tschubukov who knew the importance of getting his daughter married, at once joined the hands of Natalia and Lomov and declared that Natalia agreed to the match. Natalia too, declared that she was willing and Lomov declared that he too, was happy. Tschubukov shouted for champagne to celebrate the intended marriage.

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