How would you describe Ivan Vassiliyitch Lomov’s character in Anton Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal? 

How would you describe Ivan Vassiliyitch Lomov’s character in Anton Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal?


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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A ridiculous figure befitting farce, Ivan Vassilievich Lomov is a personnage whose defining character is his lack of character. For his attempts to prove his manliness fail as he seeks a wife to care for him,

"I must live a well regulated life.  I have a weak heart, continual pappitations, and I am very sensitive and always getting excited...But the worst of all is sleep! I hardly lie down and begin to doze before....I jump up like a madman, walk about a little , lie down again.... And so it is all night long!"

A hypochodriac, Lomov is a ridiculous fellow.  When he attempts to propose, he sputters and murmurs about the coldness of the air. Then, when he mentions the meadows, Natalia overpowers him in argument and he reaches fearfully for water as the argument degenerates into family name-calling. 

After he departs, Natalia has her father call Lomov back; although he returns he complains of his leg and side and his heart palpitations. Then, with his disputatious procliviity, he recommences his arguing and name-calling with Natalia, not realizing that such confrontations will increase after they marry.

thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ivan Vassilievich Lomov’s character in Anton Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal (also titled The Proposal in some English translations) is fundamentally a comic one. In the play, he is seen attempting to work up his nerve to propose to Natalia, his neighbor's daughter. They are not well-acquainted, despite being neighbors.

Lomov is 35 years old, and a nervous hypochondriac, who is socially awkward and prone to anxiety attacks. As is gradually revealed over the course of the play, he is not particularly romantic, and his proposal has more to do with the economic advantages of of combining their families' adjacent properties than with any particular degree of love of Natalia or desire to get married. His efforts to actually propose keep on getting derailed as he and Natalia get in various arguments, but with some help from her father, and despite a major panic attack, he does successfully succeed in proposing and the proposal is accepted.

poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anton Chekov's A Marriage Proposal follows the awkward intentions of Ivan Vassiliyitch Lomov, a hypochondriac who wants to marry Natalia, the daughter of his neighbor, Stepan Stepanovitch Chubukov.

Ivan is wealthy, but incredibly suspicious and prone to argumentative behavior and fits of hysteria. Despite seeking out this marriage for economic purposes (mainly, to expand his land ownership), Ivan seems to be bent on bickering with his bride-to-be; they argue over the disputed land of The Oxen Meadows and the superiority of their hunting dogs. The stress of these arguments causes Ivan to experience palpitations, leg numbness, and an eventual collapse due to exhaustion. Even after he is revived, Ivan continues to stir up trouble by sparking another fight immediately after Natalia solidifies the proposal with a kiss.