The Proposal

Chapter Summary

The Proposal” by Anton Chekov is a one-act play that talks about the tendencies of wealthy families to seek ties with other wealthy families to expand their wealth through the process of encouraging marriages which is mainly observed in the sense of economic facts. It is a play which shows the quarrelsome nature of all the characters and also displays how a wealthy family ruthlessly encouraged marriage to improve their economic status. Ivan Lomov is the principal protagonist who is a wealthy neighbour of Stepan Chubukov. He is seeking a groom for his twenty-five-year-old daughter, Natalya. There are a lot of arguments related to their wealth and pets. Ultimately the proposal is almost lost due to continuous quarrelling. Moreover, this drama shows the wealthy families' greed for marrying heirs into other wealthy families with the object of increasing their wealth.

What does Chubukov at first suspect that Lomov has come for? Is he sincere when he later says and I’ve always loved you, my angel, as if you were my own son? Give reasons for your answer.

At first, Chubukov primarily suspects that he might come to him to borrow some money as he was wearing his evening dress. He was not at all sincere during his speech to Lomov about the love affection for him. It was also stated by him that he liked him as his own son of him and was determined not to provide any kind of wealth or money. In the case of sincerely meaning what he had told then he stated that he would never have such type of thought. When Lomov asked for the hand of his daughter for marriage then his attitude of him totally changed.

He was very happy to hear the marriage proposal for her daughter to a wealthy family. Initially, he did not believe his own rear then he became very glad about the proposal. Then he rushed indoors to call his own daughter, Natalya Stepanovna. Then, Chubukov rushed to call Natasha to tell her what has happened to him and Natalya as well.

Chubukov says of Natalya: ... as if she won’t consent! She’s in love; egad, she’s like a lovesick cat… Would you agree? Find reasons for your answer.

It is sure that Natalya is in love. It is very clear to her that Lomov only came to her house for proposing to her for marriage. Her behaviour signifies that she was in deep love with Lomov. When she heard about the proposal then she started weeping and told his father to bring back Lomov immediately. Chubukov also thought that Lomov was the ideal marriage prospect for her daughter and he was eagerly asked for this type of proposal from him.

During the time, when Lomov expressed his doubt about the consent of his daughter would agree with the proposal then he immediately told him that, Natalya was in deep love with her. It was also told by Chubukov, that her daughter was also closely affectionate to her pets, lands as well as meadows. Moreover, it was seen from the drama that neither Lomov nor Natalya was in love with each other but had a great affection for their wealth.

Find all the words and expressions in the play that the characters use to speak about each other, and the accusations and insults they hurl at each other.

All the characters of this play are greatly affectionate about their wealth and always intended to increase their economic status in society. Therefore, the principal characters of the play sometimes used some words as well as expressions for insulting each or hurting others. Like, Chubukov used words like intriguer, old rat as well as a grabber to insult others, while Natalya severally used expressions like a lovesick cat, an excellent housekeeper and not bad-looking well-educated as well.

During the play, Lomov also used some words as well as expressions for insulting others like impudent, pettifogger, malicious and double-faced intriguer as well. Besides this, insulting others, Lomov also used blind hen, turnip ghost, a villain, scarecrow as well as stuffed sausage. Moreover, most of the characters of this play had a general vague grievance toward others and did not mind at all attacking others with insulting words.

Five adjectives or adjectival expressions of your own to describe each character in the play.

In order to describe the characters of this play, some adjectives will be perfect for them. This play comprises three principal protagonists Chubukov, Lomov and Natalya as well. For describing Chubukov, the adjectives like low-minded, insensible as well as cunning are perfect. Besides this, the adjectives like quarrelsome as well as mean will be perfect for him. In terms of Lomov, the appropriate adjectives are well-dressed, weak as well as assertive.

Lomov was also idiotic and loveable in nature. Natalya was almost like her father and gets all the qualities of her father like being quarrelsome and immature but she is lovable as well. In other words, she is a little bit foolish and means as well.

Can you now imagine what these characters will quarrel about next?

It can be said that all the characters of this play are fickle-minded as well as shorttempered. Quarrelsome is the most iconic feature of all the characters and they love to quarrel with aunty about such pretty issues.

It is also seen that all the characters are approaching other with insulating adjectives without any respect for others. They all are mainly fascinated with the improvement in their economic status of them in society by expanding their land as well as their wealth. The main idea of this play is to the expansion of the wealth of an individual through a marriage ceremony to another wealthy family.


Q1. Is the play can be called a comedy-drama?

Ans. A comedy-drama is also called dramedy which discloses the dramatic works that mainly combine all the elements of comedy as well as the drama. Here, this play has a comic perspective and all the characters are ironically connected with the other characters and their desire also has a satiric perspective.

Q2. What is called a one-act play?

Ans. It is a type of play which includes a single act but it includes one or sometimes more scenes. Mainly this type of play acts within 30 minutes, particularly with the writing competitions. This particular play includes all the qualities of a one-act play.

Q3. Is the title of this play justified?

Ans. The whole play is mainly based on a marriage proposal but it totally relies upon the concept of increasing the wealth of individuals. After the proposal, the play turns in other directions in which they are quarrelling about their social statues along with individual property. Therefore, it can be said that the title of this play is fully justified.