Lopakhin and Ranasky’s role in the cherry orchard.

Lopakhin and Ran as the main characters in the play cherry orchard represent time and delusion respectively. They also represent the falling aristocrats and the rising middle class of new Russia. A whole generation’s issues are shown through Lop and Ran.Lopakhin became a new wealth and rose from his serfhood background through hard work, his capitalistic and pragmatic nature. This, now as a habit has Lop wanting to keep doing something and being busy and must keep working. As an industrious character, he keeps checking his watch and talks of time. He seems to be the only character who is aware that time is moving and that the auction was nearing and that they were going to have to sell the house. He offered to clear the orchard and build villas on the land to make money and pay off the debts. He always speaks as a serf or as a merchant. He has the financial status but is insecure because of his lack of class.When Lop keeps talking of the present and the transient nature of time, Ran seems to be stuck in the past. Ran is shown as delusional and an escapist. She keeps running away from the present and takes shelter in the past. In the play, Ran’s first word was “the nursery!”. This shows the nursery and the pasts importance in the play. Ran loves the Orchard and the estate and has a very emotional connection to it even though her son and husband died on the estate. Ran is nitpicking at her memories and is selective only towards the good memories she has of the estate, like those of her mother and her childhood. She chooses to ignore the fact that she is losing money and is about to lose the orchard and continues to take comfort in the past. Ran shows her escapist nature when she leaves to Paris and keeps tearing the telegrams she receives. Ran wasn’t allowed to work and never learnt the value of money, so her losing money is something that she just doesn’t understand. Ran and all the other aristocrats borrow and spend money on outwardly appearances to keep up the facade of wealth. Which is what causes the upper class to fall.But when the rising middle class like Lop, are pragmatic and capitalistic to change Russia, they lack the intellect to actually do something, whereas the upper class have the intellect and knowledge to make changes but choose not to, and spend their money on lavish balls and luxuries. Towards the end of the play, when Lop buys the orchard and Ran becomes a little more self aware of their financial situation, and Varya and Gaev find jobs for themselves – shows that Lop buying the orchard won’t immediately solve a whole generations problems but instead shows the slow change that the upper class are going through.

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