Short Summary of The Cherry Orchard: "The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov summary

The play is all about the tragic plight of the family of Lyubov that remains unable to save their estate and the cherry orchard, they are so proud of. The family is totally split and subject to decadence. Their father has died and their mother, Lyubov, has been living in Paris for last 5 years. She returns home only after having lost all her money at the hands of her cheating lover. She returns penniless. Here her family orchard is about to be auctioned soon. She is severally given the option and advice by Lopakhin, a growing businessman, to save her orchard by clearing and leasing it to the vacationers but Lyubov would not agree to this because she is so proud of her orchard.

This apparent keeping up of appearance while they are drowning into the gulf of their own piled up loans, they lose even what was left with them. They are terrible and almost nothing they can save. Lopakhin's reminders and warnings are of no use to them. They don't move and keep on spending lavishly. Lopakhin keeps on reminding them:

"Let me remind you, ladies and gentlemen, on August 22 the cherry orchard will be sold. Think of that! ... Think of that! ..."

The change was knocking at the door but all of the major characters remained deaf to the heralds of time. To quote Lopakhin "Time flies". Therefore, the time set for change was due in a short while but the characters remained unable to adapt to the new requirements of the time. Their certain deeds remain laughable and the undercurrents of irony may also be felt. But to be honest, there is deep pathos and irony in the play which leads the play as well as its characters to a tragic end though the author never intended it because he claims to have written a comedy at best. We, therefore; are forced to admit the tragic plight of the characters. This is, perhaps, due to certain flaws in the characters.