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The Cherry Orchard
by Anton Chekhov
The Cherry Orchard Act 3 Summary
It's a party at Lubov's house. The Jewish band from Act 2 is playing, people are dancing and playing pool, Pischik is talking nonsense to Trofimov. When Varya enters, Trofimov gives her the usual taunt: "Madame Lopakhin!" Pischik is trying to scrounge up money to pay interest. For a minute he freaks out, thinking he's lost what he already collected. Trofimov wryly observes that Pischik could move mountains with the energy he's spent finding money. Today is the day of the auction and Lubov is waiting anxiously for news. Meanwhile Charlotta is entertaining everyone with parlor tricks: cards, ventriloquism, and disappearing acts. Pischik is a little smitten. Trying to soothe her mother, Varya assures her that Gaev has bought the orchard. The topic of Varya's marriage to Lopakhin comes up again. She likes him, she admits, but she can't really propose to him herself. Yasha comes in laughing and tattling: Epikhodov has broken a billiard cue. Varya is miffed that Epikhodov, a worker, is acting like a guest. Lubov asks Trofimov not to tease Varya so much. Can't he see how unhappy she is? He's just getting back at her for hounding him and Anya. They are above love. Lubov says she must be beneath love. But really, all she can think about is the auction. She wants Trofimov to comfort her. She's got the wrong man. Trofimov tells her to look reality in the face. Lubov can't believe his lack of sympathy. He only thinks he knows what reality is because of his youth, because he hasn't seen the worst of life. A telegram falls out of Lubov's sleeve. It's from her lover in Paris, who is sick and begging her to return. She still loves this man, who has stolen everything from her? She's a fool, says Trofimov. This infuriates Lubov. She attacks Trofimov, calling him a virgin and a freak. Trofimov is horrified. He leaves the room, and promptly falls down the stairs. The dancing starts again. Lubov apologizes and dances with Trofimov. Fiers comes in, disapproving of the whole scene. He tells Yasha how, in the past, generals and barons came to their parties. Today it's post office clerks. Yasha replies that he's bored and wishes Fiers would kick the bucket. Lubov asks Fiers where he will go if the estate is sold. Wherever she tells him, he says. Yasha requests that Lubov take him back to Paris. The people here are too uneducated for him. Dunyasha enters, trying to get Yasha's attention. She's been flirting with the post office clerk. Epikhodov still has a thing for her, but she won't give him any time. Varya scolds Epikhodov for breaking the cue. When she threatens to hit him with a stick, she catches Lopakhin instead. He's back from the auction. With Gaev, who's wiping tears from his eyes. The orchard has been sold. To Lopakhin. Lubov is stunned. Varya takes off her key ring and throws it down. Lopakhin tells the story of the auction. A rich man was making bids, and Lopakhin topped him. The place where his father and grandfather were serfs now belongs to him. Lopakhin asks for the musicians to play. Lubov weeps bitterly. Anya comes in, imploring her mother to stop crying and to move on.
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