The Cherry Orchard
by Anton Chekhov
Pischik, Lubov's landowning neighbor, provides some context for the struggles of Lubov's family. Pischik's constant search for money lets us know that the whole community of landowners faces the same financial straits. Unlike Lubov, however, Pischik is entirely comic. He's always doing ridiculous things like swallowing all of Lubov's pills or comparing himself to a horse. Every time he comes over, he begs for money, even the first night Lubov is back in town:
PISCHIK. [Follows her] Yes, we've got to go to bed. ... Oh, my gout! I'll stay the night here. If only, Lubov Andreyevna, my dear, you could get me 240 roubles to-morrow morning--
GAEV. Still the same story…
PISCHIK. Two hundred and forty roubles ... to pay the interest on the mortgage.
LUBOV. I haven't any money, dear man.
PISCHIK. I'll give it back ... it's a small sum. ...
LUBOV. Well, then, Leonid will give it to you. ... Let him have it, Leonid.
GAEV. By all means; hold out your hand.
LUBOV. Why not? He wants it; he'll give it back. (1.181-182)
In the end, Pischik surprises everyone by paying back these little loans. Some Englishmen found clay on his land and he's leased it to them. While Lubov and Gaev sneer at the idea of vacation homes in their cherry orchard, Pischik's not too proud. His adaptability allows him to keep his estate.