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The Proposal

By: Anton Chekhov

A Marriage Proposal is a one-act farce by Anton Chekhov, written in 1888–1889 and first performed in 1890. It is a fast-paced play of dialogue-based action and situational humour. A young man Lomov comes to propose his neighbour Natalya but they both keep on fighting on various topics. Through this play, Chekhov exposes the fakeness of the world and tries to show how superficial people are of these days. Rather than emotional bonding in relationships, people simply connect with wealth and money.

Ivan Vasilyevich Lomov, a long-time neighbor of Stepan Stepanovich Chubukov, has come to propose marriage to Chubukov's 25-year-old daughter, Natalia. After he has asked and received joyful permission to marry Natalia, she is invited into the room, and he tries to convey to her the proposal. Lomov is a hypochondriac, and, while trying to make clear his reasons for being there, he gets into an argument with Natalia about The Oxen Meadows, a disputed piece of land between their respective properties, which results in him having "palpitations" and numbness in his leg. After her father notices they are arguing, he joins in, and then sends Ivan out of the house. While Stepan rants about Lomov, he expresses his shock that "this fool dares to make you (Natalia) a proposal of marriage!" Natalia then realizes that Lomov wanted to marry her and immediately starts into hysterics, begging for her father to bring him back. He does, and Natalia and Ivan get into a second big argument, this time about the superiority of their respective hunting dogs, Guess and Squeezer. Ivan collapses from his exhaustion over arguing, and father and daughter fear he's dead, sending them into another round of hysterics. However, after a few minutes he regains consciousness, and Chubukov all but forces him and his daughter to accept the proposal with a kiss. Immediately following the kiss, the couple gets into another argument over their dogs while Chebokov tries to calm them and offers Champagne.

Book Details

Language

English

Original Language

Russian

Published In

1889

Author

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classic...

More about Anton Chekhov

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