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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.