Thinking About the Play
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”? Find reasons for your answer from the play.
At first Chubukov suspected that Lomov had come to borrow money as he was in his evening dress. He was not sincere when he told Lomov that he had always loved him and that he was like his own son, because he had decided to not give any money to Lomov. It was only when Lomov asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage that his attitude changed and he rushed out to call his daughter, Natalya.
Chubukov says of Natalya: “……. as if she won’t consent! She’s in love; egad, she’s like a lovesick cat……” Would you agree? Find reasons for your answer.
Yes, Natalya is in love. This is clear by the way she behaves when she gets to know that Lomov came to propose to her. She starts weeping and asks her father to bring Lomov at once.
1. Find all the words and expressions in the play that the characters use to speak about each other, and the accusations and insults they hurl at each other. (For example, Lomov in the end calls Chubukov an intriguer; but earlier,Chubukov has himself called Lomov a “malicious, doublefaced intriguer.” Again, Lomov begins by describing Natalya as “an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated.”)
2. Then think of five adjectives or adjectival expressions of your own to describe each character in the play.
3. Can you now imagine what these characters will quarrel about next?
The words and expressions that have been used to describe each other by various characters of the play are Chubukov: intriguer, grabber, old rat Natalya: a lovesick cat, an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking’ well-educated. Lomov: a good neighbour, impudent, pettifogger, malicious, double faced intriguer, rascal, blind hen, turnip ghost, a villian, scare crow, stuffed sausage, etc.
Thinking About the Language
1. This play has been translated in English from the Russian original. Are there any expressions or ways of speaking that strike you as more – Russian than English?
For example would an adult man be addressed by an older man as my darling or my treasure in an English play?
Expressions not used in contemporary English are- my angel, my beloved, my beauty (Here these expressions, are used for an adult man) and ‘all that sort of thing’ (not explaining what it is just leaving it as it is) and ‘how may you be getting on’? reported speech
2. You must have noticed that when we report someone’s exact words, we have to make some changes in the sentence structure. In the following sentences fill in the blanks to list the changes that have occurred in the above pairs of sentences. One has been done for you.
- To report a question, we use the reporting verb asked (as in sentence set 1).
- To report a declaration, we use the reporting verb
- The adverb of place here changes to _____
- When the verb in the direct speech is in the present tense, the verb in reported speech is in the tense (as in sentence set 3).
- If the Verb in direct speech is in the present continuous tense, the verb in reported speech changes to ____ tense. For example, ____ changes to was getting.
- When the sentence in direct speech contains a word denoting respect, we add the adverb ____ in the reporting clause (as in sentence set 1)
- The pronouns I, me, our and mine, which are used in the first person in direct speech, change to third person pronouns to such as _____ or ____ in reported speech.
5. past continuous, is getting
7. he, him, their or his