The proposal of marriage in the play sketches the picture of contemporary social life in Russia. In the play, the author draws a thumbnail sketch of his contemporary society. The play’s central theme of marriage is presented in the comic wrapping .
The Proposal in the Centre of the Play:
The play explores the comic situation that arises in the course of a marriage proposal made by Lomov to Chubukov’s daughter.
The play lands a carefully contrived plot and attempts to provide no solution to the dramatic complication. Chekhov’s handling of comedy attempts to provide no solution to the dramatic crisis, but merely holds up the mirror to the artificial resolution of conflict through a perfunctory proposal of marriage.
Significance of the Title
The title of the play exposes the following themes:
A. Non-Romantic Nature of Marriage :
Through the contract of marriage as it is proposed from one landed-farmer to another, Chekhov exposes the non-romantic nature of marriage as it occurs as a social practice.
B. Marriage as a Convenient Business Deal :
The point Chekhov is trying to make, is that marriage is more of a convenient business deal subscribed to by society, rather than a romantic union between two people.
C. Hollowness of Marriage :
Chekhov resorts to satire in order to bring out the hollowness of marriage as a social institution. Chekhov underscores no bitterness with his observations, instead through the mounting absurdity in the play, he offers his audience a sincere food for thought.
D. Marriage on the Level of Farce :
Within the tight structure of the play, Chekhov puts the focus on marriage as convenience and treats his theme at a level of farce.
Justification of the Title:
Keeping the marriage proposal made by Lomov in the Centre of the play, Anton Chekhov holds up the mirror to the artificial resolution of conflict through a perfunctory proposal of marriage. The play revolves around the proposal. The main theme and the intention of the dramatist is to hold up the contract of marriage. And, therefore, the title of the Play is justified and appropriate to capture the the whole theme of marriage.