•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Why is the cherry orchard almost entirely absent from the stage? How does this absent landscape function dramatically? Chekhov's own garden expertise supports a study of the way that landscape in this play—its presence at once pervasive and virtual—both transcends and subverts the functions of setting. Such a reading of the function of landscape leads us to new ways of answering old questions about the play, as well: is the orchard more or other than a symbol? is the play a comedy? I examine the features and conventions of an orchard and garden landscape as they collide with characters' apprehension of the orchard as a repository of the past, and with Lopahin's plans—radical, practical and Romantic—for its future. The orchard's fate parallels the dispersal and re-definition of the family; that shared human and landscape drama can be read to show how landscape is constructed and how that construct depends upon, reflects, and may subvert human intentions.

Creative Commons License


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Share

COinS