Cherry Orchard, a classic by Anton Chekhov is a play that is set in the 19th century Russian Society, which revolves around an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to their family estate which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage. With the abolition of serfdom in 19th century, Russia saw a major shift in the social scene, where former serfs were allowed to gain wealth and status while some aristocrats were becoming impoverished, unable to tend their estates without the cheap labor of slavery. The effect of these reforms was still being felt when Chekhov was writing forty years after the mass emancipation.
The result of the reform was that, the aristocrats continued to live in their pompous while their estates and property went arid without much labor to work at cheap costs. The serf were gradually educated and empowered with jobs and financial viability. This reading of the play, directed by Venkatesh Prasad, deals with the effects of these changed times on one particular family.
It is a very important play in terms of interpretation of the tension of rapid social and political development not just in Russia but entirely in the world as it is happening today. Seen from a positive light as the coming of new opportunities, social changes would look a bit less unbearable for people who were suffering as a result of these social shifts. The play looks not at making of a hero or cynic of the characters but to re-iterate change in inevitable and some social aspects need a shift in thought and action during such events in the development of the society.
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