The Cherry Orchard

by

Anton Chekhov

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Ranevsky’s eldest daughter, Barbara, has been in charge of keeping house during the five years Ranevsky has been in Paris. Barbara is staunch, stoic, and no-nonsense; she is eternally waiting on a proposal from Lopakhin that, though much-rumored throughout the village, may never come. Barbara is aging out of her marriageable years, and her anxiety about being left behind and forced to continue doing housework for the rest of her life as her family’s fortune vanishes due to her mother’s irresponsible financial ways is palpable throughout the play.

Barbara Quotes in The Cherry Orchard

The The Cherry Orchard quotes below are all either spoken by Barbara or refer to Barbara. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Social Change Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift edition of The Cherry Orchard published in 1991.
Act 1 Quotes

GAYEF: I’ll go [to the bank] on Tuesday and talk [the loan] over again. (To BARBARA) Don’t howl! (To ANYA) Your mamma shall have a talk with Lopakhin. Of course he won’t refuse her. And as soon as you are rested you must go to see your grandmother, the Countess, at Yaroslav. We’ll operate from three points, and the trick is done. We’ll pay the interest, I’m certain of it. (Taking sugar candy.) I swear on my honor, or whatever you will, the property shall not be sold. (Excitedly.) I swear by my hope of eternal happiness! There’s my hand on it. Call me a base, dishonorable man if I let it go to auction. I swear by my whole being.

Related Symbols: The Cherry Orchard
Page Number: 14-15
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3 Quotes

PISHTCHIK: The worst of it is, I’ve got no money. A hungry dog believes in nothing but meat. (Snoring and waking up again at once.) I’m just the same… it’s nothing but money, money with me.

[…]

(A sound of billiards being played in the next room. BARBARA appears in the drawing-room beyond the arch.)

TROPHIMOF (teasing her): Madame Lopakhin! Madame Lopakhin!

BARBARA (angrily): Mouldy gentleman!

TROPHIMOF: Yes, I’m a mouldy gentleman, and I’m proud of it.

BARBARA (bitterly): We’ve hired the band, but where’s the money to pay for it?

(Exit BARBARA.)

TROPHIMOF (to PISHTCHIK): If the energy which you have spent in the course of your whole life in looking for money to pay the interest on your loans had been diverted to some other purpose, you would have had enough of it, I dare say, to turn the world upside down.

Related Characters: Barbara (speaker), Peter Trophimof (speaker), Simeonof Pishtchik (speaker)
Page Number: 28-29
Explanation and Analysis:

BARBARA: Haven’t you gone yet, Simeon? You seem to pay no attention to what you’re told. […]

EPHIKHODOF: Allow me to inform you that it’s not your place to call me to account.

BARBARA: I’m not calling you to account; I’m merely talking to you. All you can do is walk about from one place to another, without ever doing a stroke of work; and why on earth we keep a clerk at all heaven only knows.

EPHIKHODOF (offended): Whether I work, or whether I walk, or whether I eat, or whether I play billiards is a question to be decided only by my elders and people who understand.

BARBARA (furious): How dare you talk to me like that! How dare you! I don’t understand things, don’t I? You clear out of here this minute! Do you hear me? This minute!

EPHIKHODOF (flinching): I must beg you to express yourself in genteeler language.

BARBARA (beside herself): You clear out this instant second! Out you go! Twenty-two misfortunes! Make yourself scarce! Get out of my sight!

Related Characters: Barbara (speaker), Simeon Panteleyitch Ephikhodof (speaker)
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:

MADAME RANEVSKY: Who bought it?

LOPAKHIN: […] I bid nine thousand more than the mortgage, and got it; and now the cherry orchard is mine! Mine! (Laughing.) Heaven’s alive! Just think of it! The cherry orchard is mine! Tell me that I’m drunk; tell me that I’m off my head; tell me that it’s all a dream! […] If only my father and my grandfather could rise from their graves and see the whole affair, how their Yermolai, their flogged and ignorant Yermolai, who used to run around barefooted in the winter, how this same Yermolai had bought a property that hasn’t its equal for beauty anywhere in the whole world! I have bought the property where my father and grandfather were slaves, where they weren’t even allowed into the kitchen. I’m asleep, it’s only a vision, it isn’t real… ‘Tis the fruit of imagination, wrapped in the mists of ignorance. […] Come everyone and see Yermolai Lopakhin lay his axe to the cherry orchard, come and see the trees fall down! We’ll fill the place with villas; our grandsons and great-grandsons shall see a new life here […] Here comes the new squire, the owner of the cherry orchard!

Related Characters: Madame Lyubof Andreyevna Ranevsky (speaker), Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin (speaker), Barbara
Related Symbols: The Cherry Orchard
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Cherry Orchard LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Cherry Orchard PDF

Barbara Character Timeline in The Cherry Orchard

The timeline below shows where the character Barbara appears in The Cherry Orchard. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
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Love and Sentimentality Theme Icon
Ranevsky, her daughters Anya and Barbara, and Anya’s governess Charlotte enter the room in a bustle. Gayef (Ranevsky’s brother), Lopakhin, Dunyasha,... (full context)
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Barbara comes back into the room, and sends Dunyasha to go prepare coffee for Madame Ranevsky.... (full context)
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...living on the fifth floor of a large house, entertaining a strange group of people. Barbara can hardly stand to hear how their mother was living. Anya tells Barbara that their... (full context)
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Lopakhin interrupts the sisters’ tense moment by making a sound at the door. Barbara shakes her fist at him, and he goes away. Anya asks if Lopakhin has proposed... (full context)
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...remember her. Yasha aggressively gropes her; Dunyasha screams and drops a saucer. Yasha exits quickly. Barbara comes back in to ask what all the commotion is; Anya follows her, dreamily reflecting... (full context)
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...Pishtchik reenter as well. Anya goes off to bed, kissing her mother and uncle goodnight. Barbara tells Lopakhin and Pishtchik to head home, but Ranevsky insists the men stay for coffee.... (full context)
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Gayef dismisses this as “gibberish.” Barbara enters with a telegram for Ranevsky. Ranevsky promptly rips it up, as it is from... (full context)
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Gayef calls Lopakhin a snob, and then apologizes, as he realizes Barbara is rumored to be betrothed to him. Pishtchik says that Lopakhin is a “worthy individual.”... (full context)
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Ranevsky has finished her coffee and insists it’s time for bed. Barbara remarks that the sun has come up—she goes to the window and opens it, allowing... (full context)
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...she’d returned, he could not wait until the morning. Ranevsky embraces him and begins crying. Barbara chides Trophimof for upsetting her mother. Ranevsky soon begins teasing Trophimof, though, asking him how... (full context)
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...to borrow money in the morning. They all head off to bed except for Gayef, Barbara, and Yasha. Barbara reminds Yasha that his mother has come up from the village, having... (full context)
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Barbara and her uncle discuss Ranevsky. Barbara laments that her mother is terrible with money. Gayef... (full context)
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...the girls goodnight, and goes off to sleep; Firs hobbles along after him. Anya tells Barbara that her mind is at last at rest. Barbara begins telling Anya about a nasty... (full context)
Act 2
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Ranevsky suggests Lopakhin marry Barbara; she would help him feel better about himself. Lopakhin agrees that he should, but then... (full context)
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Trophimof, Anya, and Barbara approach the field. Ranevsky embraces her daughters while Lopakhin teases Trophimof for being so old... (full context)
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Barbara cries out that she is going home—she is angry with her mother for giving a... (full context)
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...frightened everyone off, allowing herself and Trophimof to be alone at last. Trophimof laments that Barbara never leaves the two of them alone—she is afraid they will fall in love with... (full context)
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...of happiness at last. Anya, seemingly ignoring him, notes that the moon is rising. Offstage, Barbara calls for Anya to come inside. Trophimof, as if not to lose Anya’s attention, tells... (full context)
Act 3
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Barbara appears in the doorway—Trophimof, teasing her, calls out “Madame Lopakhin” over and over. In response,... (full context)
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...behind it. Everyone applauds. Charlotte shakes out the shawl once more, and this time conjures Barbara. She leaves the drawing room; Pishtchik, enchanted by Charlotte, hurries after her. (full context)
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...property has sold, or whether the auction didn’t even happen; she hates being in suspense. Barbara attempts to soothe her mother by assuring her that Gayef has purchased their land back—after... (full context)
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Trophimof starts teasing Barbara again, calling her Madame Lopakhin. Barbara teases Trophimof right back. Madame Ranevsky urges Barbara not... (full context)
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...informs everyone, laughing, that Ephikhodof has just broken a billiard cue in the next room. Barbara, incensed, storms off to investigate. Ranevsky urges Trophimof to go easy on Barbara—the girl is... (full context)
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The sound of a crash comes from another room, followed by Barbara and Anya’s screams and laughter—Anya runs in laughing about how Trophimof has fallen down the... (full context)
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Barbara enters the room in a huff. She chides Ephikhodof for breaking the billiard cue and... (full context)
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...and Lopakhin answers that he himself did. Ranevsky is overwhelmed; she staggers, nearly falling over. Barbara throws her house keys to the ground and leaves. Lopakhin is clearly overjoyed—he begins telling... (full context)
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Lopakhin, still smiling dreamily, bends down and picks up Barbara’s keys. He jingles them merrily, and then asks the musicians—who have stopped playing—to resume their... (full context)
Act 4
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...hall, are several suitcases and bundles. Lopakhin stands alone in the room, waiting; Anya and Barbara’s voices can be heard in the hall as they bid the neighboring peasants goodbye. Yasha,... (full context)
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Barbara calls for Yasha—his mother has come to bid him goodbye. Yasha impatiently remarks that his... (full context)
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...reassures her that Firs has indeed been sent to the hospital. Ranevsky’s second worry is Barbara, who is used to doing household work—now that she has nothing to do, she is... (full context)
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Ranevsky calls Barbara into the room and then exits. After a moment, Barbara enters—she is looking for something... (full context)
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A voice calls for Lopakhin, and he quickly hurries out of the room. Barbara sits on the floor and sobs. Madame Ranevsky comes back in. Seeing Barbara on the... (full context)
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...walls and the ceilings. Lopakhin asks Ephikhodof to take one last look around the house. Barbara pulls an umbrella from a bundle of rugs and pretends to strike Lopakhin; he pretends... (full context)