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What does the quote below reveal about Lopakhin?"Well, I get up at five o'clock in the...

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ketrich32 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 11, 2012 at 6:43 PM via web

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What does the quote below reveal about Lopakhin?

"Well, I get up at five o'clock in the morning. I work from morning to night, and I've always lots of money on me -- mine and other people's -- and I can see what people around me are like. One has only to start doing something to realize how few honest, decent people there are about."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 11, 2012 at 7:04 PM (Answer #1)

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To a great extent, the quote reveals the contradictory transformation that is a part of Lopakhin's character.  On one hand, the quote refers to how much of change that there is in his being.  From being a descendant of serfs and the condition of servitude, Lopakhin's quote reveals how he has transformed himself into an individual who is able to be autonomous and in control of his own state of being.  Yet, this is undercut by his unwillingness to change the conditions that he derides.  In the quote, one sees how much of a supposed distance there might be between he and the world.  The disconnect is evident in ideas such as the "few" amount of "honest, decent people."  In this light, it appears that Lopakhin has defined himself against this trend.  Yet, his character is demonstrative of the idea that he is a part of that which he hates.  Too consumed by money to see anything else in being in the world, he represents that which he dislikes.  He might hate the fact that there is fraudulence and a sense of negation brought about by money and wealth, yet he embodies the same tenets throughout the play.  This helps to bring out how his character is a statement against the condition of modernity in Russian society, but how many who can recognize this are doing little to change such a condition.


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