The Cherry Orchard
by Anton Chekhov
The Cherry Orchard Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used Julius West's translation.
GAEV. Once upon a time you and I used both to sleep in this room, and now I'm fifty-one; it does seem strange. (1.82)
Gaev and Lubov feed each other's obsessions with the past.
FIERS. In the old days, forty or fifty years back, they dried the cherries, soaked them and pickled them, and made jam of them…and then we'd send the dried cherries off in carts to Moscow and Kharkov. And money! And the dried cherries were soft, juicy, sweet, and nicely scented. ... They knew the way. (1.115)
Fiers represents the past that is perishing. He remembers the vitality of the cherry orchard. But he can't remember the recipe for the jam – the practical knowledge that made the orchard sustainable.
LUBOV. [Looks out into the garden] Oh, my childhood, days of my innocence! In this nursery I used to sleep; I used to look out from here into the orchard. Happiness used to wake with me every morning, and then it was just as it is now; nothing has changed. (1.162)
Wake up, Lubov! Everything has changed. Serfs have been freed, the trees don't yield fruit, the estate is about to be sold.