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What is the climax of "The Proposal" by Anton Chekhov?

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kareemoo | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 6, 2013 at 2:34 PM via web

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What is the climax of "The Proposal" by Anton Chekhov?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 8, 2013 at 7:27 PM (Answer #1)

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"A Marriage Proposal" ("The Proposal") by Anton Chekhov is a fast-moving farce with stereotypical, ridiculous characters. Portraying the upper-class courtship in nineteenth-century Russia as a desperate economic act, Chekhov's characterization arouses explosive laughter from audiences for its brawls and Lomov's hypochondria.

In his attempt to secure financial stability, Lomov goes to his neighbor to ask for the hand of his daughter Natalia with whom he can join his land to hers. His neighbor, Tschubukov embraces him at the idea that he can marry off his daughter; however, he plays a practical joke on her, saying "a dealer has come to buy something" instead of telling her that Lomov wishes to marry her. The comedy is launched after she enters and their casual conversation turns to explosive argument when Lomov begins to speak of his meadows which Natalia argues belong to the Tschubukovs. Hearing their screaming, the father rushes in and his daughter drafts him into the conflict which crescendos to the point that the hypochondriac Lomov puts his hand over his heart and staggers to the door and leaves.

This point in the action is the rising action as the Tschubukovs realize that a financial opportunity has walked out the door. Hysterical, the father speaks of killing himself because he is cursed with bad luck as his daughter groans, 

NATALIA Proposal for me! Oh!...Bring him back! Bring him back!

Tschubukov brings Lomov back, but the timid Lomov still cannot bring himself to propose. When he again faints, the Tschubukovs repeat their hysteria; finally as Lomov begins to regain consciousness, the father intervenes, determined not to miss a second opportunity:

TSCHUBUKOV She's willing! Well? Kiss each other and--the devil take you both!

This scene is the climax.

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