Do we make the moments in our lives or do the moments in our lives make us?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Past in the Blossoms

There is something to be said about the beauty in the blooming of a cherry blossom. The fragrance wafts over everything in it's path and brings a smile to the face of passer bys. In The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov there is a motif of the struggle between clinging to the past and realeasing it. Lyubov Ranevskaya is almost unable to leave the orchard of her childhood due to the memories emmbedded there, but in the end those memories are forced to be released and she is forced to let her past remain in the past.

We see this motif greatly in the charecter Firs, who lives mainly in the past. He lingers on the moments he can barley remember and they not only influence his present, but his future as well. At eighty-seven years old he has very little of his life yet, but what we see of it is influenced by when their "luck ran out"(38). His past has molded so much of who he is that he is incapible of releasing it.

In the final scene of the play Firs is the one left behind, and because he remains in the orchard, his ultimate wish to be left in the past comes true. He is left with all of the memories the orchard held and all of the things he cherished so dearly.

But why does it matter? What is the purpose of it all if the people he worked so hard for his entire life abandoned him on his death bed? Lyubov Ranevskaya went back to a man who left her, and her step-daughter lost her job. Did the orchard change them? I like to belive they did.

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