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Cultural Shock in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard

Cultural Shock in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard

Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard projects the cultural conflict of the turn of the twentieth century of Russia. With a historical allusion, Chekhov exhibited the changing Russia with “slice of life” in his play. The Cherry Orchard is not only a depiction of Russian life but also an understatement of changing traditional value. Cultural conflict itself is an abstraction. To explain it, it is the traditional culture that is unable to resist the invading one. In the play, each character has his or her own personality, which symbolizes their individual social levels of Russian society. But these characters distinguish themselves into two sides, which are conservators and investors; therefore, they conflict each other in opinion. The following developments will begin with an outlook of The Cherry Orchard to acknowledge the basic concept of the play. The second part is culture in change that explains historical background of modern Russia. Third by a contrasting method, the main idea of this part is an illustration of conflict. And, in the fourth section, explaining symbolic meaning of The Cherry Orchard is an approach to highlight the conflict. Finally, the prospective development of different groups of characters is another contrast that echoes their attitudes in the beginning.

In The Cherry Orchard, the dramatic development is parallel with the historical evolution of Russia in the end of the nineteenth century. Provided the orchard is a small copy of real Russia, each character of the play is the stereotype of his or her social status. In other words, the play is a condensation of reality. When it comes to the plot, ¡§The play does not have much of a p…

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Gilman, Richard. Chekhov¡¦s Plays: An Opening into Eternity. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

Jackson, Robert Louis. Reading Chekov¡¦s Text. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1993.

Kirk, Irina. Anton Chekhov. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981.

Matlaw, Ralph E. Anton Chekhov¡¦s Short Stories: Texts of the Stories Bachgrounds Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton

Essay on the Image of Lady Macbeth

The Image of Lady Macbeth

Macbeth, one of the greatest tragedies written by William Shakespeare, tells a story about uncontrollable ambition, which destroys Macbeth and his wife. Interpreting the play using the mythological approach, Lady Macbeth exhibits a profound image as the terrible mother, more so than the “weird sisters.” Her evil intention foreshadows the awful fate and destiny of her family. The force that drives Lady Macbeth is her insatiable thirst for power.

Macbeth does not have clear ambition to kill King Duncan till Lady Macbeth suggests him to do so. In Act I, Scene III, Macbeth finally encounters the witches and acknowledges their predictions although these temptations are extremely powerful for him. However, he responses:

So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

(Act I, Scene iii, line 39)

It implies that Macbeth rebuffs the witches’ prophecy in the beginning. When he listens to their predictions, it brings Macbeth into a dilemma, whether to slay the King or not. Perhaps Macbeth means no more than that the weather is mixed ¡V that nature, like mankind, is to be know only by its ceaseless conflict of good and bad, and that a crisis in this conflict is now at hand.1 Whereas, the point is that the weird sisters never tell or encourage him to replace the monarch by murdering the King. All they express are only predictions rather than orders, and Macbeth absolutely owns the free agency to make a proper decision. Macbeth’s tragedy is not that he decides to kill Duncan but that he cannot become independent.2

The turning point of Macbeth’s …

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… archetype woman of the ¡§Terrible Mother¡¨ or the ¡§Fatal Female.¡¨ Although, Macbeth is a brave and experienced warrior, and he seems to be perfect and upright, he still has he tragic flaw. He is not able to resist the teasing and temptation from his wife. Moreover, he is merely a puppet controlled by Lady Macbeth. In short, Lady Macbeth is a bourgeois individualist, for whom traditional ties of rank and kinship are less constitutive of personal identity than mere obstacles to be surmounted in the pursuit of one’s private ends.8 In the beginning, they have paved the way of the death for themselves. In the final part of the tragedy, the couple deserve a destructive outcome. As the result, the poetic justice is revealed. To sum up, if compare the weird sister’s prophecy to Pandora’s box, Lady Macbeth is the person who opens it.

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