The Cherry Orchard Characters List
- Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya
- Leonid Andreyevich Gayev
- Yermolai Alekseyevich Lopakhin
- Peter Sergeyevich Trofimov
- Boris Borisovich Simeonov-Pischik
- Charlotte Ivanovna
- Semyon Panteleyevich Yepikhodov
The Cherry Orchard Characters in Detail
1- Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya
Ranevskaya is an emotionally volatile and financially irresponsible Russian aristocrat. After her husband’s death and her son’s drowning, she leaves for Paris to live with a man who eventually leaves her.
She’s known for her generosity and naivety, often giving money she doesn’t have to spare. Her emotions often sway her decision-making rather than rationality, leading to her financial ruin.
Despite her financial situation, she clings to the past and cannot accept the idea of selling the family’s cherry orchard.
The daughter of Ranevskaya, Anya represents innocence and hope in the play. Just seventeen, she’s at the cusp of adulthood and embodies the possibility of change and adaptation.
Unlike her mother, Anya accepts the changes occurring in Russian society and even looks forward to the new opportunities they might bring.
Varya is Ranevskaya’s adopted daughter, responsible for managing the estate during Ranevskaya’s absence. In contrast to her mother and sister, Varya is practical, serious, and conscientious.
She takes her responsibilities seriously and works tirelessly to preserve the estate. Varya loves Lopakhin but cannot express her feelings due to their differing social statuses.
4- Leonid Andreyevich Gayev
Gayev is Ranevskaya’s brother and a dreamer who enjoys the recollections of past times. He lacks a practical sense and often escapes reality through billiard games, even miming the action during conversations.
He embodies the old aristocracy’s ineffectiveness in dealing with the changes around them.
5- Yermolai Alekseyevich Lopakhin
Born to a family of serfs on Ranevskaya’s property, Lopakhin, with his humble beginnings, started his journey towards becoming a successful businessman. He represents the emergence of the middle class in Russia.
Despite his affection for the Ranevskaya family, he proposes to cut down the cherry orchard to build summer homes, representing the destruction of the old ways for progress.
6- Peter Sergeyevich Trofimov
Trofimov is a perpetual student and the former tutor of Ranevskaya’s dead son. He’s the intellectual voice in the play and represents the future of Russia.
He believes in progress and is determined to bring about change through knowledge and education.
7- Boris Borisovich Simeonov-Pischik
Simeonov-Pischik is a landowner always seeking loans to pay off his debts. He’s a comic figure who represents the plight of many Russian aristocrats struggling to maintain their lifestyle in the changing societal landscape.
8- Charlotte Ivanovna
Charlotte is an eccentric governess who entertains with her tricks and ventriloquism. She’s a character who doesn’t fit into the social structure and represents the displacement of individuals during societal shifts.
9- Semyon Panteleyevich Yepikhodov
Yepikhodov is a clerk at the Ranevskaya estate. His constant mishaps and misfortunes provide comic relief in the play. He loves Dunyasha, but his awkwardness often gets in the way.
Dunyasha is a maid in the Ranevskaya household who dreams of a more refined and sophisticated life. She reflects the upward aspirations of the lower classes.
Caught in a love triangle with Yepikhodov and Yasha, she becomes a symbol of the chaos and uncertainty caused by societal changes.
Firs is an old servant who has been with the Ranevskaya family since before the emancipation of the serfs. His unwavering loyalty to the family symbolizes the old order’s steadfastness.
However, his age and deteriorating health mirror this old order’s decline and inevitable end. Forgotten and left behind in the end, Firs’ fate symbolizes the abandonment of the old ways.
Yasha is Ranevskaya’s footman who has accompanied her from Paris. He’s rude, disdainful of those lower than him in social status, and eager to climb the social ladder.
Yasha’s behaviour represents the negative aspects of the changing social order and the ruthlessness often required to ascend socially.