Study Guide

The Cherry Orchard Act 3

By Anton Chekhov

Act 3

  • 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.