The Proposal by Anton Chekhov Summary

The Proposal was originally titled as “A Marriage Proposal. It is a one-act play, a farce, by the Russian short story essayist and writer, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov. The proposal is short play and has just three characters as under:

Chuikov: His physical looks like 60 years of age. He is a caring man and considerate, for example with his neighbour.

Natalya: She needs to get everything that she wants. She is enamoured, egad, she resembles a love-sick cat.

Lomov: He is 35 years of age, a critical age. In the event that he gets apprehensive, his heart is palpitating horrendously, particularly when he faces with Natalya. He doesn’t have a fearless heart before the lady.

The setting of The Proposal

Place: The occurs in Chubunkov’s house, precisely at the drawing room.

Time: The place takes place at night, at around 7 p.m.

Scene: Lomov has put on a nightdress, gloves, cap, etc. Chubunkov is astonished however feels so happy when meeting him. Lomov says that he needs to propose Natalya, Chuikov’s little girl. Chubunkov is extremely cheerful when hears that and specifically acknowledges the proposal. Lomov fears he isn’t an appropriate man to Natalya. It is the ideal time for Lomov to ask Natalya for marriage.


Stepan Stepanovitch Chubukov and Ivan Vassilevitch Lomov are neighbours. One day Lomov visits Chubukov’s house to propose the hands of Natalya Stepanovna. Chubukov is elated goes inside to call Natalya. In the meantime Natalya meets Lomov. Lomov has difficulty in coming to the point. While talking about their family and the land they own, a dispute arises between them. Chubukov too joins in the argument. Lomov gets nervous and leaves the house. When Natalya comes to know that Lomov has come to propose her, she resents. On Natalya’s wish, her father requests Lomov to visit their house again. This time Natalya is polite. But unfortunately they start arguing about their dogs. They entirely forget about their intention for the revisiting. Chubukov contributes to worsen the situation.Lomov faints. When he recovers, Chubukov hands Natalya to Lomov and feels relaxed.

➡ The first quarrel starts over the ownership of Oxen Meadows

In the first place, they are discussing the weather. Then when Lomov talks about Oxen meadow is his own, Natalya ends up furious and differs him. Natalya mortifies Lomov, she says that she felt Lemon is a decent neighbour but he is only a Land-grabber. Lomov can’t control his emotional sense and shout at Natalya. Natalya grumbles to her father and asks him that he express that Meadows is Chubukov’s or our own. Lomov blames Chubukov has taken the Meadows from Lomov’s family. He feels that the Lomov’s are decent people.

➡ Chubukov disclose to Natalya that Lomov has come to propose her

After Lomov leaves them, Chubukov tells his girl that he forgot to state that actually Lemov has come to propose her. Natalya will recognize that Oxen Meadows is Lomov’s land. She additionally asks about forgiving on bantering previously. Chubukov is incredibly amazed by the modification of his little girl feeling.

➡ Natalya and Lomov quarrel over their breed of dogs

Lomov contends that Guess is the best dog. However, Natalya differs it, the squeezer is superior to Guess. They do it once more, mortifying one another. They now criticise each other’s dogs and say the ugliness. All of a sudden, Lomov feels numb and collapse. Natalya screams to her dad, Lomov has died. Chubukov is terrified and takes a drink to make Lomov conscious. Suddenly, Lomov becomes mindful, and Chubukov asks them wed as soon as possible. They kiss one another, and Natalya said that Lomov needs to concede Guess is worse than Squeezer. Lomov can’t help contradicting it and contends that Guess is the best.

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The farce explores the process of getting hitched and could be perused as a satire on the upper middle class and courtship. The play points out the struggle to balance the monetary necessities of marriage and what the characters themselves actually want. It demonstrates the characters’ distress for marriage as hilarious. Chekhov’s Russian marriage was a method for monetary stability for the vast majority. They wedded to pick up riches and belonging or to fulfil social weight.

The parody is passed on effectively by accentuating the couple’s absurd contentions over little things. The primary contentions in the play spin around The Oxen Meadows and two dogs called Ugadi and Otkatai.

Character Sketch of Natalya

Natalya is the only grown-up daughter of a Russian landowner named Chubukov. She is twenty-five years old but not married yet. She has a tremendous hunger for having a love affair. She is, however, very quarrelsome and makes a hill out of a mole. She is not beautiful but she is quite stout. Natalya has very softness towards her neighbour, Lomov whom she wants to court. One evening Lomov visits Natalya’s house in a dashing dress to propose Natalya. Natalya gets very impressed with his dress and asks him if he plans to go to some night club. Her father, however, understands the plans of the youth. He leaves the duo alone to go ahead with the proposal. Lomov finds no courage to initiate and baffles. Finally, he picks the thread and makes the mention of his oxen meadows. The word ‘his’ makes Natalya outrageous.She warns Lomov against claiming oxen meadows. Lomov feels unpleased and a quarrel takes place.
Natalya gets emotional and asks her father to urge Lomov back to her room.

Lomov is again brought to the fore but he fails once more to deliver. He makes the mention of the breed of their family dogs and finds again himself in deep waters.He claims that his dog is of a high breed, while as Natalya loses her temper once more and falls serious on Lomov..She descends to indecency that is retaliated by Lomov.

Chubukou sees the opportunity to take Natalya’s side. Lomov fails to make his point and is knocked down unconscious. Natalya and her father make efforts to bring him to wits, but they fail. As a last resort, Chubukov takes Natalya by her hand and puts her hand in Lomov’s hand. He shouts in the ears of Lomov that Natalya is ready to take him as her husband. Life returns to Lomov’s body again, and the duo hugs each other and exchange kisses to their hearts’ fill. To Lomov Natalya is an excellent house-keeper, not at all bad looking and well educated.

Character Sketch Of Lomov

Lomov is the most important character of the play. He is the hero of the play. He is a bachelor of twenty-five. He is a big landowner. He is much attracted towards Natalya and wants to propose her as early as possible. Lomov is already thirty-five and does not want any further delay in his marriage. He is, however, too shy to propose Natalya. One evening he gathers the courage and drops in Natalya’s house. His dress impresses Natalya very much. He finds Natalya in isolation. What a chance to propose the girl! But he loses the track. Instead of proposing the girl straightway, he chooses the topic of his inherited land. He makes the mention of his oxen meadows which brings him a great trouble.Natalya is displeased by Lomov’s claim on her oxen meadows.

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The quarrel starts and the proposal remains far from pronouncing.
Lomov has so many health problems. He suffers a lot from his sudden palpitations. His head, as well as his shoulders, ache severely during the night. Lomov tries to hide his ailments from all. Lomov’s health problems are, however, brought to the fore when he baffles to propose and beats about the bush before Natalya. After the mention of open meadows, he once again mistakes and boasts of his family dog to be of the higher breed than that of Natalya’s dog. On the mention of dogs, Natalya loses her temper and curses Lomov for his irresponsible arguments. The quarrel is intensified and much indecency is exchanged. Lomov is knocked down unconscious as he experiences a stroke. The dying man’s plight, however, brings dismay to the father and daughter.

Lomov’s unconscious state of mind, however, proves bliss in disguise for him. Chubukov finds no resort other than to shout in Lomov’s ears that Natalya is ready to make him her husband. Lomov regains his life. The duo exchange kisses to their heart’ fill and have enough romance to cleanse their hearts of the hatred.

Character sketch of Stephen Chubukov

In the play The Proposal Anton Chekhov has presented three characters. Stephen Chubukov is one of them. He was a landowner who had a daughter named Natalya. He was an very factious man however had a propensity for talking considerately to everybody at first. He invites Lomov in a pleasant way and is upbeat when he says he has come to propose to his little girl. Chubukov was a man to be diverted effectively thus when Natalya and Lomov had a contention he excessively participate and offended Lomov. Chubukov is anticipated as an loving father but greedy man who is searching for a decent counterpart for his little girl.

1. Justify the title of the play The Proposal.
Answer: The title of the play is ‘The proposal’ and it is a very apt one because the whole play is about Lomov proposing Natalya. Right from the beginning to the end of the play, the story revolves around a marriage proposal.
Lomov visits Natalya’s house to propose to her however even before he does it, they both start fighting.As a result, Lomov becomes sick and leaves. Natalya’s father informs her regarding the intention of Lomov and she starts wailingover the loss.
Lomov is called back and once again an argument ensues before proposing. Hence, we are able to say that the title is ideal for the play.

2. Briefly describe the character of Lomov.

Answer: Lomov was a thirty-five-year-old unmarried man.He uneasily waited to get married for the simple reason he had reached a crucial age.
He proposed a girl named Natalya in his neighborhood. Lomov was a strange man. He went to propose Natalya but quarreled over petty issues like the oxen meadows and pet dogs. He also abused Natalya and her father.

3 Describe the character of Natalya in a few sentences.

Answer: Natalya was a young girl of twenty-five. She lived in the neighborhood of Lomov and could do all the household work. She longed for love and was argumentative naturally.
She too quarreled with Lomov over meadows and their pet dogs as to which one is a better breed.

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4. How does Chubukov react when Lomov says that he has come to ask for the hand of his daughter?

Answer: Chubukov is really glad to hear that Lomov has come to ask for Natalya’s hand. He embraces and kisses Lomov. He encompasses a tear or two in his eyes out of joy.He gets God’s blessing for Natalya and Lomov. He says he’s off his balance with joy. He goes out to call for Natalya.

5.What happens to Lomov when he
is in an excited state?

Ans:- Lomov’s heart beat increases. His lips tremble. There is a twitch in his right eyebrow. The worst thing is the way he sleeps. When he goes to sleep, something pulls in his left side. It comes to his shoulder and head. He jumps like a lunatic.

6. How does Natalya excite Lomov
to the point of verbal fighting?

Answer: Natalya doesn’t agree with the point that Oxen Meadows are not theirs. She says that up to that she thought Lomov was a good neighbor. They lent him their threshing machine last year. They had to postpone their threshing till November.

7. Why does Natalya ask her father Chubukov to fetch Lomov in at once when they have fought verbally? How does she accuse her father?

Answer: Actually Chubukov says that Lomov came to propose to Natalya for marriage. Natalya didn’t know it. So she promptly changes and asks her father to fetch Lomov in. She additionally accuses Chubukov that he drove Lomov out.

8. How do Lomov and Chubukov fight after talking about dogs, etc?

Answer: Chubukov says that Lomov should sit at home with his heartbeats. He is not at all a hunter. Lomov replies that he goes looking to intrigue solely.
This starts their verbal fight. Lomov calls him an ‘intriguer’. Chubukov calls him ‘pup’. Lomov calls him ‘old rat’. Chubukov calls him ‘fool’, etc.

9. How is ‘the Proposal’ a great comedy?
Answer: ‘The Proposal’ is a great comedy. It is as a result of the characters and material and the way they behave. Natalya, Lomov, and Chubukov fight over foolish things. All these create a lot of laughter. The verbal fights over Oxen Meadows
and dogs are really full of humour.

10. What does Chubukov at first suspect that Lomov has come for? Is he sincere when he later says “and I’ve always loved you, my angel, as if you were my own son”?

Answer: Chubukov initially suspects that Lomov has come to him to borrow cash. Chubukov isn’t sincere in what he expresses. After some minutes, Chubukov starts fighting with Lomov over petty matters.

In fact, the sides together with his daughter fighting with Lomov. He even abuses Lomov calling him with bad names. This shows his untruthfulness in saying of this ingratiating sentence.

11. Chubukov says of Natalya: “…. as if she won’t consent! She is in love; egad, she is like a lovesick cat..” Would you agree?

Answer: Yes, Natalya is in love. This is clear in her behaviour once she is aware of that Lomov came to propose to her. When she is aware of it, she starts weeping; she calls her father to bring him back promptly. He has gone out after the quarrel. She becomes hysterical.

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