The cherry orchard is mine now, mine! [Roars with laughter] My God, my God, the cherry orchard’s mine! Tell me I’m drunk, or mad, or dreaming. … [Stamps his feet] Don’t laugh at me! If my father and grandfather rose from their graves and looked at the whole affair, and saw how their Ermolai, their beaten and uneducated Ermolai, who used to run barefoot in the winter, how that very Ermolai has bought an estate, which is the most beautiful thing in the world! I’ve bought the estate where my grandfather and my father were slaves, where they weren’t even allowed into the kitchen. (3.151)
Although I already commented on quote in my last blog entry, I can’t help but comment on why did Lopakhin succeed as a peasant who socially climbed to riches and owning the land his father was a slave on to Gaev, the educated man who was left behind to die. In class, we discussed how this story is very similar to a Southern Belle story where class is similar to race. Likewise, Lopakhin’s rise to success is do to his motivation to do better than his parent, just like poor immigrants who try to rise above in their social class to achieve the American Dream (to do better than your parents). I can’t help but think about my own parents who probably felt the same joy when they moved to America and just bought their first house with indoor plumbing and such. This story is about the changing times of Russia and the rise of the peasants while the aristocrats remain stagnant about their problems, however, this narrative is repeated throughout history. Those who are rich and comfortable will be forgotten and those who are motivated to break ancestral bondage will rise and the dynamic will switch.
Source: The Cherry Orchard (Acts 3