In The Caucasian Chalk Circle, is the land dispute resolved amicably to the satisfaction of both parties?

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e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The land dispute that forms the preface or foreground of the narrative in The Caucasian Chalk Circle is resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.

This resolution is strongly implied and should be understood as complete when the old man, Aleko, is given a chance to dispute the cessation of the land to the other group. Instead of challenging the cessation, the old man asks to see the drawings of the plans. A woman of his group says that this means Aleko will soon fully agree with the decision.

 “Once he has the drawings and he’s ready to discuss them, the matter is settled. I know him.”

The decision is to let the group who will do the most to enhance the productivity of the land. They plan to irrigate the valley and increase the land’s ability to produce food. This is the reason for the decision as to who should maintain the rights to the land.

The ethic at work here is central to the play as a political drama. There is a political moral expressed in each of the three anecdotes related in the play (the epilogue, the land dispute, and the peasant woman who raises the governor’s child). The ethos of each of these stories is summarized in the final lines of the play. 

“Take note of what men of old concluded:

That what there is shall go to those who are good for it,

Children to the motherly, that they prosper,

Carts to the good drivers, that they be driven well,

The valley to the waterers, that it yield fruit.”

Seen in this light, the two parties of the land dispute can be understood to participate in the overriding ethic of the play, functioning as a positive example of the play’s political moral at work.