The Cherry Orchard     by Anton Chekhov Summary of the plot

Early one chilly morning on the estate where he grew up a peasant's  son, Lopahin, a merchant, waits for the arrival of the daughter of his father's master.  Madame Ranevsky (Lyubov Andreyenvnea), her daughter Anya and entourage of charlotta Ivanovana, Anya's governess; and young valet, Yasha, have come back to the family home and cherry orchard after five years abroad in Paris.  Her brother Gaev (Leonid AndreyevitchJ), stepdaughter Varya, servants Dunyasha and Firs; and neighbors Semyonov-Pishtchik and Epihodov (Semyon Pantaleyevitch) gather to welcome her.  Even Trofimov (Pyotr Sergeyevitch), the tutor of her young son Grisha who accidentally drowned, has come for the reunion.


Here in the nursery that overlooks their precious cherry orchard now in bloom, Lyubov returns to face old memories and a new crisis: the orchard must be sold to pay off family debts.  There is hardly time to enjoy fond memories before Lopahin presents his plan to cut down the orchard and convert the land to summer resorts.  Other matters demand her attention as well:  Varya's engagement to Lopahin, Epihodov's request for a loan and daily personal telegrams from Paris.

An afternoon walk inspires them to express their regrets over the past; and to day-dream about the future.  Soon thereafter in the evening, Lyubov hosts a dance to pass the time while they wait for the results of the cherry orchard auction.  Nevertheless, their anxiety mounts:  and Lyubov  and Varya criticize Trofimov; Varya an Dunyasha lose patience with Epihodov; Pishtchik tries again to borrow money from Lyubov; and even Firs complains.  At last Lopahin returns from the auction to announce that he has bought the cherry orchard himself.

In the final scene, Lyubov prepares to return to Paris;  Firs becomes ill; and Pishtchik discovers valuable mineral deposits on his land.  Everyone leaves, but Firs who is left behind, while in the cherry orchard there is the sound of chopping.