The Proposal by Anton Chekhov – Summary

‘The Proposal’ (originally titled ‘A Marriage Proposal) is a one-act play, a farce by Anton Chekhov. The play highlights the tendency of wealthy families seeking ties with other wealthy families to increase their estates by encouraging marriages that make good economic sense.

Summary

This play is about how wealthy families seek to tie up with one another through marriages in order to increase their property and wealth. Lomov is a rich bachelor who wishes to marry Natalya, the daughter of Chubukov who himself is a rich man. The play deals with how all the three characters are very quarrelsome. They quarrel over trivial issues and call each other names. Lomov is not really in love with Natalya, but wants to marry her as he feels she is a good house-keeper, beautiful and well educated. He feels that it is the time he should settle down. Natalya, who doesn’t know he has come to propose to her, feels that he has come to claim oxen meadows as his own. This results in a quarrel with her father Chubukov joining in. After much mud-slinging, when Natalya comes to know that he has come to propose her, she becomes willing to marry him. The proposal is made and accepted, with the knowledge that quarrels will take place in life, and important things should not be side-lined because of this.

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