The Cherry Orchard

by

Anton Chekhov

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Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin Character Analysis

A middle-class neighbor of Madame Ranevsky, Lopakhin is the child of peasants who has recently made his way in the world and acquired quite a bit of wealth. When Lopakhin was a boy, Madame Ranevsky showed him kindness on several occasions when he suffered at the hands of his drunkard of a father—now, Lopakhin attempts to repay her kindness by helping her strategize to keep a hold on her family’s ancestral home and sprawling estate. To do so, though, Lopakhin says, the beautiful and expansive (but valueless) cherry orchard must be cut down and parceled off into plots of land that can be rented out to the emergent members of the middle class. Ranevsky will not hear of this idea, no matter how many times Lopakhin tries to force her to see that it is the only way to survive. Ultimately, it is Lopakhin himself who purchases the estate at auction—his glee at having secured such a valuable and coveted parcel of land despite Ranevsky’s obvious suffering shows how self-absorption, greed, and blind ambition are not failings exclusive to the often-oblivious aristocracy.

Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin Quotes in The Cherry Orchard

The The Cherry Orchard quotes below are all either spoken by Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin or refer to Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin. 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:
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). 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

MADAME RANEVSKY: Cut down the cherry orchard! Excuse me, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. If there is one thing that’s interesting, remarkable in fact, in the whole province, it’s our cherry orchard.

LOPAKHIN: There’s nothing remarkable about the orchard except that it’s a very big one. It only bears once every two years, and then you don’t know what to do with the fruit. Nobody wants to buy it.

GAYEF: Our cherry orchard is mentioned in Andreyevsky’s Encyclopaedia.

[…]

FIRS: In the old days, forty or fifty years ago, they used to dry the cherries and soak ‘em and pickle ‘em, and make jam of ‘em, and the dried cherries…

GAYEF: Shut up, Firs.

FIRS: The dried cherries used to be sent in wagons to Moscow and Kharkof. A heap of money! The dried cherries were soft and juicy and sweet and sweet-smelling them. They knew some way in those days.

MADAME RANEVSKY: And why don’t they do it now?

FIRS: They’ve forgotten. Nobody remembers how to do it.

Related Characters: Madame Lyubof Andreyevna Ranevsky (speaker), Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin (speaker), Leonid Andreyitch Gayef (speaker), Firs Nikolayevitch (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Cherry Orchard
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

GAYEF: Do you know how old this cupboard is, Lyuba? A week ago I pulled out the bottom drawer and saw a date burnt on it. That cupboard was made exactly a hundred years ago. What do you think of that, eh? We might celebrate its jubilee. It’s only an inanimate thing, but for all that it’s a historic cupboard.

[…]

GAYEF (touching the cupboard): Yes, it’s a wonderful thing… Beloved and venerable cupboard; honor and glory to your existence, which for more than a hundred years has been directed to the noble ideals of justice and virtue. Your silent summons to profitable labor has never weakened in all these hundred years. (Crying.) You have upheld the courage of succeeding generations of our human kind; you have upheld faith in a better future and cherished in us ideals of goodness and social consciousness. (A pause.)

Page Number: 9-10
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2 Quotes

LOPAKHIN: Excuse me, but in all my life I never met anybody so frivolous as you two, so crazy and unbusinesslike! I tell you in plain Russian your property is going to be sold, and you don’t seem to understand what I say.

MADAME RANEVSKY: Well, what are we to do? Tell us what you want us to do.

LOPAKHIN: Don’t I tell you every day? Every day I say the same thing over and over again. You must lease off the cherry orchard and the rest of the estate for villas […]

MADAME RANEVSKY: Villas and villa residents, oh, please… it’s so vulgar!

GAYEF: I quite agree with you.

LOPAKHIN: I shall either cry, or scream, or faint. I can’t stand it! You’ll be the death of me. (To GAYEF.) You’re an old woman!

Related Characters: Madame Lyubof Andreyevna Ranevsky (speaker), Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin (speaker), Leonid Andreyitch Gayef (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Cherry Orchard
Page Number: 20-21
Explanation and Analysis:

FIRS: I’ve been alive a long time. When they found me a wife, your father wasn’t even born yet. And when the Liberation came I was already chief valet. But I wouldn’t have any Liberation then; I stayed with my master. (A pause.) I remember how happy everybody was, but why they were happy they didn’t know themselves.

LOPAKHIN: It was fine before then. Anyway they used to flog ‘em.

FIRS (Mishearing him): I should think so! The peasants minded the masters, and the masters minded the peasants, but now it’s all higgledy-piggledy; you can’t make head or tail of it.

Related Characters: Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin (speaker), Firs Nikolayevitch (speaker)
Page Number: 22-23
Explanation and Analysis:

LOPAKHIN: I should like to know what your opinion is of me?

TROPHIMOF: My opinion of you, Yermolai Alexeyitch, is this. You’re a rich man; you’ll soon be a millionaire. Just as a beast of prey which devours everything that comes in its way is necessary for the conversion of matter, so you are necessary too.

Related Characters: Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin (speaker), Peter Trophimof (speaker)
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

(They all sit pensively. Silence reigns, broken only by the mumbling of old FIRS. Suddenly a distant sound is heard as if from the sky, the sound of a string breaking, dying away, melancholy.)

MADAME RANEVSKY: What’s that?

LOPAKHIN: I don’t know. It’s a lifting-tub given way somewhere away in the mines. It must be a long way off.

GAYEF: Perhaps it’s some sort of bird… a heron, or something.

TROPHIMOF: Or an owl…

MADAME RANEVSKY (shuddering): There’s something uncanny about it!

FIRS: The same thing happened before the great misfortune: the own screeched and the samovar kept humming.

GAYEF: What great misfortune?

FIRS: The Liberation.

Related Characters: Madame Lyubof Andreyevna Ranevsky (speaker), Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin (speaker), Leonid Andreyitch Gayef (speaker), Firs Nikolayevitch (speaker)
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3 Quotes

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:
Act 4 Quotes

LOPAKHIN: In the spring I sowed three thousand acres of poppy and I have cleared four thousand pounds net profit. […] So you see, I cleared four thousand pounds; and I wanted to lend you a bit because I’ve got it to spare. What’s the good of being stuck up? I’m a peasant… As man to man…

TROPHIMOF: Your father was a peasant; mine was a chemist; it doesn’t prove anything. (LOPAKHIN takes out his pocket-book with paper money.) Shut up, shut up… If you offered me twenty thousand pounds I would not take it. I am a free man; nothing that you value so highly, all of you, rich and poor, has the smallest power over me; it’s like thistledown floating on the wind. I can do without you; I can go past you; I’m strong and proud. Mankind marches forward to the highest truth, to the highest happiness possible on earth, and I march in the foremost ranks.

LOPAKHIN: Will you get there?

TROPHIMOF: Yes. (A pause.) I will get there myself or I will show others the way.

Related Characters: Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin (speaker), Peter Trophimof (speaker)
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

ANYA (in the doorway): Mamma says, will you stop cutting down the orchard till she has gone.

TROPHIMOF: Really, haven’t you got tact enough for that?

(Exit TROPHIMOF by the hall.)

LOPAKHIN: Of course, I’ll stop them at once. What fools they are!

(Exit after TROPHIMOF.)

Related Characters: Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin (speaker), Anya (speaker), Peter Trophimof (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Cherry Orchard
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:
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Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin Character Timeline in The Cherry Orchard

The timeline below shows where the character Yermolai Alexeyitch Lopakhin appears in The Cherry Orchard. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
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...still called the nursery” many years after it has been used as such to find Lopakhin in a chair with a book in his hand. Lopakhin realizes Dunyasha brings news of... (full context)
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Lopakhin recalls a time when he was fifteen years old. His father had struck him in... (full context)
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Lopakhin notices that Dunyasha is trembling and asks her what the matter is. She answers that... (full context)
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...dining room. Dunyasha goes off to put the flowers away and retrieve a beverage for Lopakhin. Ephikhodof makes small talk with Lopakhin about the weather and his squeaky boots, but Lopakhin... (full context)
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Dunyasha confides in Lopakhin the fact that Ephikhodof has proposed to her—she is uncertain of what to do about... (full context)
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...and Barbara, and Anya’s governess Charlotte enter the room in a bustle. Gayef (Ranevsky’s brother), Lopakhin, Dunyasha, and a neighbor named Pishtchik are with them. The teenaged Anya is overjoyed to... (full context)
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Lopakhin interrupts the sisters’ tense moment by making a sound at the door. Barbara shakes her... (full context)
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...he says; he is so happy he feels he could die in peace now. Ranevsky, Lopakhin, Gayef, and Pishtchik reenter as well. Anya goes off to bed, kissing her mother and... (full context)
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Lopakhin explains that in order to pay the interest on the estate, the whole thing has... (full context)
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Lopakhin remarks that the only “remarkable” thing about the orchard is how infrequently it blooms. He... (full context)
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...as “beloved and venerable” and thanking it for serving their family for so many generations. Lopakhin says he needs to leave—he promises to come again in a few weeks. He says... (full context)
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Gayef calls Lopakhin a snob, and then apologizes, as he realizes Barbara is rumored to be betrothed to... (full context)
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...Tuesday to talk with somebody. He urges Anya to try and get Ranevsky to ask Lopakhin for a loan in the meantime, and insists Anya herself go to Yaroslav to visit... (full context)
Act 2
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...won’t be seen together. She goes, and just a few moments later, Ranevsky, Gayef, and Lopakhin arrive in the field, having been in town for a luxurious lunch. Lopakhin is urging... (full context)
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Lopakhin reveals that a famed millionaire wants to buy the property. Gayef insists that they’ll be... (full context)
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Ranevsky begs Lopakhin to stay and help her think of something else. She admits she has been “very,... (full context)
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...to the house one night to play for them as they have a little party. Lopakhin says he went to the theater the night before and enjoyed himself during a funny... (full context)
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Ranevsky suggests Lopakhin marry Barbara; she would help him feel better about himself. Lopakhin agrees that he should,... (full context)
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...topic to his own plans to secure a loan through an acquaintance. Both Ranevsky and Lopakhin predict this will never come to pass. (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 and still a student. Trophimof is sensitive and reacts... (full context)
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...like “animals” and live lives that do not reflect the experience of the common man.  Lopakhin agrees with Trophimof—in his own business, he deals with a great many people, and has... (full context)
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...to hand over her purse to Barbara once they’re back to the house. She asks Lopakhin if he’ll lend her some money, and he agrees to. Ranevsky tells Barbara that Lopakhin... (full context)
Act 3
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Trophimof starts teasing Barbara again, calling her Madame Lopakhin. Barbara teases Trophimof right back. Madame Ranevsky urges Barbara not to get so upset and... (full context)
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...to strike Ephikhodof—she raises the stick above her head and brings it down just as Lopakhin comes around the corner. Lopakhin thanks her for the “warm reception.” (full context)
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Excitement buzzes through the next room as everyone realizes that Lopakhin is back. Ranevsky runs into the room, asking what took him so long, and where... (full context)
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Ranevsky calls after him, asking about the cherry orchard and whether it was sold; Lopakhin answers that it was. Ranevsky asks who bought it, and Lopakhin answers that he himself... (full context)
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Lopakhin, still smiling dreamily, bends down and picks up Barbara’s keys. He jingles them merrily, and... (full context)
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Ranevsky sinks into a chair and weeps. Lopakhin goes to her and asks why she wouldn’t have listened to him—there is no changing... (full context)
Act 4
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...back of the room, by the door to the hall, are several suitcases and bundles. Lopakhin stands alone in the room, waiting; Anya and Barbara’s voices can be heard in the... (full context)
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...peasants—she insists she couldn’t help it, and then hurries from the room. Gayef follows her. Lopakhin calls after them, asking them to come back in and have a drink to say... (full context)
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Trophimof enters, looking for his galoshes. He can’t find them anywhere. Lopakhin tells Trophimof that he himself is going to Karkof today to spend the winter there... (full context)
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Lopakhin keeps trying to offer Trophimof money, encouraging him not to be stuck up. Trophimof says... (full context)
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Lopakhin says it’s time to start off for the station, and bids Trophimof goodbye. He asks... (full context)
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Lopakhin and Pishtchik enter; Gayef predicts that Pishtchik has come to borrow money, and excuses himself... (full context)
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...and is in a terrible depression. Anya and Charlotte leave the room. Ranevsky turns to Lopakhin and asks him why he won’t propose to Barbara. He admits that he doesn’t understand... (full context)
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...and then exits. After a moment, Barbara enters—she is looking for something she cannot find. Lopakhin asks what she’s looking for, but she won’t tell him. He asks her where she’s... (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.... (full context)
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...start out on their new journeys. Anya, too, is excited. Trophimof comes in, followed by Lopakhin. They begin taking things out of the house. Ranevsky asks for just one more moment... (full context)