The Proposal Questions Answers

The Proposal Questions Answers 

The Proposal Questions Answers

Questions Answers from Anton Chekhov's play The Proposal 

1) Comment on the appropriateness of the title of Anton Chekhov's play, The Proposal. 

Ans: The Proposal is a farcical one-act play written by Anton Chekhov. In general proposal suggests a romantic approach to marriage. But in the context of the play, the title implies comical approach to marriage in a society where marriage is very important based on materialistic pursuit but not on the union of two souls. In Anton Chekhov's one-act play, "The Proposal" we find all the characters are someway or the other influenced by the marriage proposal. Lomov is under tremendous social and mental pressure to get married. Chubukov becomes very happy as Lomov's marriage proposal  for his daughter will relieve his burden. Natalya also becomes happy to find a husband financially stable. Thus, the marriage proposal which is under a great scanner of the society is equally important to the characters of the play. The title of the play clearly brings out the writer's intention and the theme of the play. Hence, the title is quite justified. 

2) Describe the first quarrel between Lomov and Natalya in the play The Proposal. 

Ans: Lomov, a neighbour of Chubukov has come to Chubukov's house to propose his daughter, Natalya Stepanovna. But in the matter of utter nervousness, Lomov does not dare to disclose his intention to Natalya. On the other hand, they involve in funny arguments over the land, Oxen Meadows which are adjacent to Natalya's Birchwoods. According to Lomov, Oxen Meadows were once the subject of dispute. Lomov reminds Natalya that his aunt's grandmother gave the free use of Oxen Meadows to the peasants of Natalya's father's grandfather in return for which they were to make bricks for her. Natalya strongly opposes it and insists that they have Oxen Meadows for nearly three hundred years. From their arguments it is known that the Meadows are 13.5 acres in measurement and worth perhaps 300 roubles. Natalya confirms that she will not stand to any unfairness regarding Oxen Meadows. Both of them continue the argument and do not even feel shy to use unfair words, leaving the main object of marriage proposal.

3) Describe the second quarrel between Lomov and Natalya over their dogs in the play The Proposal. 

Ans: Natalya tries to be quiet and courteous when Lomov is brought back in by her father. But this time the argument starts when Natalya casually mentions about Lomov's hunting expedition. Lomov mentions that his dog, Guess has gone lame. According to Lomov, his dog Guess is a first-rate dog. This turns to be an argument for claiming superiority of their respective dogs. Natalya demands that their dog, Squeezer is better than Lomov's Guess. A verbal fight starts between them mentioning the faults of each other's dogs. Lomov says that Squeezer is overshot and is not a good hunter. Natalya asserts that their dog Squeezer has a good breeding, whereas Lomov's dog has no pedigree. Moreover, Guess has become old. Next, we find Chubukov also joins in the argument and claims their Squeezer as the best. Thus, we see that actual marriage proposal has taken a back seat and not focussed in reality. Even this argument over the dogs leads them to start abusing each other's family members. 

4) Make a brief sketch of social-life as presented in the play, The Proposal. 

Ans: In Anton Chekhov's one-act play "The Proposal" we find the picture of a typical feudal society of the then Russia. In such a society, one can ensure his or her social status and economic security through marriage. The society has little attention to personal feelings, emotions and love. The playwright satirises the materialistic mind of the three characters - Lomov, Natalya and Chubukov who represent the typical upper-class land owning society of Russia. In this society, marriage is either a case of economic benefits or of other gains. Daughters are considered as the burden for fathers and liability. Natalya is not an exception. The society portrayed in the play is primarily based on agriculture. Hunting and racing are also prevalent in the society. Thus, the play can be considered as a piece of contemporary Russian social life.

5) Sketch the character of Lomov in the play, The Proposal. 

Ans: Ivan Vassilevitch Lomov is one of the chief characters in Anton Chekhov's one-act play, "The Proposal". He is a typical feudal landowner who inherited a vast property. As he has reached in his critical age of 35, he is under tremendous social and mental pressure to get married as soon as possible. He finds Natalya as his best match because she is well efficient in household duties, well educated, good looking and belongs to well-to-do society. But Lomov is hypochondriac and always thinks too much about his real and imaginary illness. He spends many sleepless nights due to insomnia. Lomov is quite egoistic regarding the land, Oxen Meadows and his hunting dog. So he starts arguing over trifling issues like Oxen Meadows and hunting dogs with Natalya whom he wants to marry. He does not have a fixed purpose and hesitates in taking right decisions. In the play, we find that he is unstable in his purpose, unpredictable in his actions and ridiculous in his behaviour. But ultimately he is successful in his goal to marry Natalya. 

6) Sketch the character of Chubukov in the play The Proposal. 

Ans: In the play, "The Proposal", we find the character of Chubukov as a typical landowner with feudal mindset. He considers marriage as an economic settlement and is concerned about his daughter's marriage at the earliest. At first, he is suspicious about Lomov's visit to his house. But he becomes very happy when Lomov expresses his intention to marry his daughter, Natalya. He feels that Lomov's proposal offers him a relief from his burden of having a marriageable daughter. This shows his pragmatism. Chubukov has a feudal mindset that leads him to involve in the argument with Lomov over the land, Oxen Meadows. He also does not come out from his egoism and quarrel over the hunting dogs. Chubukov is basically a shrewd landowner and a businessman like father than a sensible one. However, when he finds a chance of her daughter's marriage with Lomov, he settles all disputes and solemnzies the marriage and feels relaxed. 

7) Sketch the character of Natalya Stepanovna in the play The Proposal. 

Ans: Natalya Stepanovna is an important character of the play, "The Proposal" and a marriageable daughter of Chubukov. In the play, we find that she is a young girl of 25 years old. She is educated, good looking and well accustomed to do household duties. Her father thinks her as 'a love-sick cat'. But in the action of the play we find hardly any trace of romanticism in her. Like other characters in the play, she also does not come out from her egoism and does not stand to unfairness. So, she gets involved in arguments with Lomov over trifling issues like land and dog. But as soon as she learns about Lomov's marriage proposal, she gets soft on Lomov and forces her father to bring Lomov back immediately. This shows her pragmatism. Marriage is equally important to her to maintain social status and to be financially benefited. So she readily accepts the marriage proposal. Thus, we can say that Natalya is argumentative, intelligent and stubborn in character. Like other two characters in the play, she is also hopelessly materialistic. 

8) Describe the play The Proposal as one-act play.

Ans: The play, "The Proposal", a one-act play written by Anton Chekhov is a play of dialogue based on action and situational humour. The play actually deals with a single theme of marriage which is inevitable for a father having marriageable daughter. The play can be considered as a master piece of one-act play as it maintains the characteristics of one-act play like - unity of time, plot, action and place. The play starts and finishes within a span of single day. The action of the play sets in a single place in a rural countryside of Russia. The characters are much limited, only three who always revolve between 'I-ness' and 'my-ness'. There are no side characters. The action of the play revolves around only an episode, that is marriage proposal. The dialogues of the characters and the plot help to carry the action smoothly within a single scene. So, the play, "The Proposal" stands as a successful one-act play.

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