The Cherry Orchard Essay

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In the following excerpt from his book, Chekhov: A Spirit Set Free, Pritchett outlines the historical background of and Chekhov's sources for The Cherry Orchard, characterizing the play as "Chekhov's farewell to Russia and his genius,"
Pritchett is an English literary figure, and is considered a modem master of the short story and a preeminent literary critic. He writes in the conversational tone of the familiar essay, approaching literature from the viewpoint of a lettered but not overly scholarly reader.

Chekhov started writing The Cherry Orchard in Yalta in February 1903. He wrote to Olga, who was in Moscow and whom he called his "little pony," that a crowd of characters was gathering in his mind but he could only manage to write four lines a day and "even that gives me intolerable pain." His disease was possessing his whole body, moving to his intestines and his bowels. Olga...

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This section contains 1,435 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Cherry Orchard Study Guide
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The Cherry Orchard from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.