The Cherry Orchard Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Cherry Orchard.
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Apathy and Passivity

For Mrs. Ranevsky, her daughters, and her brother Leonid Gayev, apathy and passivity have become a way of life, as Mrs. Ranevsky's line "if only this heavy load could be lifted from my heart; if only I could forget my past!" reveals. Mrs. Ranevsky has given up trying to change her circumstances and is resigned to taking her life as it comes. She goes out to expensive lunches, buys a gift for Anya, lends her neighbor Pishchik money, and gives a gold piece to the homeless hiker in Act Two. Mrs. Ranevsky refuses to accept that she can change her circumstances by changing her behavior. She becomes passive and allows the auction to take place. Gayev, Anya, and Varya also become passive in the situation, and continue to believe that everything will work out. This apathy-combined with a fear of living below the standards to which...

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This section contains 1,265 words
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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.