Minor Characters In Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard

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The play named ‘The Cherry Orchard’ is Anton Chekhov’s last yet one of the most powerful plays written in 1904. This play depicts the social reality of the nineteenth century’s Russian economy, which was moving towards the acceptance of liberalisation, where Russia 's vast population of serfs were liberated for good. This liberal reform was coined as the ‘Emancipation reform of 1861’ that effectively abolished Serfdom and rewarded serfs with all the rights of a free citizen, through the Russian Empire.

Chekhov, through his work, hopes to leave behind a strong sense of social duty within the audience by exploring significant themes and characters. For instance, this essay will focus on the ‘role and significance of the play’s minor characters’- in exploring major themes; like the role of memory, decline of the aristocracy, social class difference and even creating conflicts like the conflict of Capitalism and socialism. The significance of the minor character’s role in developing the plot will be deeply analysed through the rest of the essay.

The Minor character of Firs employs the technique of ‘characterization’ in order to explore the theme of Memory and Past. Firs, introduced as an old servant, functions as a representative of serfs who rejected the Russian liberal reform and like Ranevsky, was stuck in the memories of the past. Firs frequently idealises the past as most of his speeches relate to how life was prior to the reform, as he speaks nostalgically of the old
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