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By– Anton Chekov
Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each
1. Neighbours must have a cordial relationship which Lomov and Natalya do not have. Describe the first between them.
Ans. Neighbours must have a cordial relationship which Lomov and have. Although he had come there to propose Natalya he started fighting with her over a small piece of land. This land adjoined her land and his oxen meadows touched her birch woods. Natalya told Lomov that Lomov tried meadows belonged to her but Lomov claimed that m the oxen meadows are his. Convince Natalya by telling her that his aunt’s grandmother gave the meadows for the temporary and free use to Chubukov’s grandfather’s peasants. They did not demand money for it for a long time so the Chubukov’s misunderstood that the meadows belonged to them. While Chubukov’s insisted that yelling could not prove anything because everyone knows that meadows belong to Chubukov’s since last three hundred years. Both threatened each other.
2. The proposal was forgotten amidst argumentation. Which right approach should have been followed by both parties?
Ans. Lomov came to Chubukovs to propose Natalya. Both are neighbours and at the right age to marry. But instead of forwarding the proposal both of them started fighting over truffles. Firstly they fought over a small piece of land called oxen meadows both of them claimed that the land belonged to them and not the other one. Somehow the argument came to an end and they started fighting over dogs and claimed each of their dog better than the other ones. The proposal was forgotten amidst all these arguments. The situation might be different if both the parties had followed the right approach. Oxen meadows would belong to both of them if they got married. Similarly, dogs are the very petty thing to argue about while marriage is going to take place. There should not be any ego in between of them both. They should be polite and patient to each other. They should not be rigid and stubborn. Their priority should be their marriage and not meadows or dogs. Only the proposal could be carried on.
3.”The way Chubukov, Natalya and Lomov fought over petty issues is against the behaviour and mannerisms of good neighbours.” Comment. What would you have done to resolve the issue? (if you were in the place of Chubukov)
Ans. Lomov and Chubukovs were neighbours. Lomov came to Chubukovs to propose Natalya. But instead of proposing they started fighting over petty issues like oxen meadows and quality of dogs. This is not the quality of good neighbours. Neighbours should live like friends. There should be a positive relationship between the two neighbours.
There should be understanding and patience among neighbours. The fight between Looms and Chubukovs could have been avoided if handled carefully. The issue of meadows could be resolved calmly and quietly by a good conversation. There must have been some documents showing the ownership of the meadows or both the parties could be convinced by making them understand that if they got married, the meadows will belongs to both of them.
Similarly, the issues of dog could be solved instead of counting the negative points of each other’s dogs. They can discuss the positive features of the dogs. Thus the issues could be resolved.
4. Why does Lomov think of marrying he should settle into a quiet and regular Natalya Stepanovna
Ans. Lomov was 35 years old. It was high time that life IV moreover, he was suffering d In order to put his proposal to Natalya, due to a weak heart and sleeplessness. He wanted company and file one to look after him, so he wanted to get married he visited Chubukov. However, Lomov was not in love with Natalya. Besides his ill health, he understood quite well that she was an excellent housekeeper, not bad looking, and well-educated. Thus, he thought of marrying her because of all these practical reasons.
5. Write a brief character sketch of Lomov.
Ans. Lomov is a man who is of marriageable age. He also suffers from a weak heart and sleeplessness. So, he is desperate to settle down in life and lead a quiet and regular life. Despite his ailments, Lomov was a rich and prosperous farmer. This makes Chubukov secretly wish him to marry his daughter Natalya. As for Lomov, he did not love her, though he was desperate to have a life partner, and so marry Natalya. Lomov was however hesitant to ask for her hand from Chubukov. That made him beat around the bush, argue with Natalya and leave without proposing. Thus we can find that Loom’s conditions overpower the other traits he has. He is an eligible, assertive, rich, bachelor, who will be liked by any girl. However, we also know that he is nervous, lacks confidence and is prone to talk in a long-winded manner.
6. Describe how Chubukov got Natalya married with Lomov.
Ans. Chubukov was thinking that Lomov had come to borrow money from him but when he told him that he had come to propose to his daughter he was overjoyed and even shed a tear. He kissed and embraced Lomov. He told Lomov that he was hoping it for a long time. He also told Lomov that he loved him as his own son.
In fact, Chubukov, secretly wished Lomov to marry his dither as he knew that Lomov was a rich and prosperous farmer and his only daughter could lead a comfortable life with him. No wonder, he was overjoyed to know that Lomov was there to propose to his daughter.
7. Describe the incidents of humour in the play, ‘The Proposal’?
Ans. ‘The Proposal’ is certainly a humorous play. The very entry of Lomov in a formal I dress and the way Chubukov greets calling him ‘darling’, ‘my treasure’ or ‘my beauty’ make one laugh. Marriage proposal, supposed to be romantic turns to be humorous as the way Natalya and Lomov indulge in arguments over petty issues like ownership of Oxen Meadows and superiority of dogs makes the play humorous. The critical terms that the characters I use for each other like a scarecrow, turnip ghost, blind hen, stuffed sausage, etc., force one to laugh. The hysterical fit of Natalya when she comes to know about the proposal and the wailing of father and daughter when they think Lomov is dead create immense humour. Finally, the way Natalya puts her hand in Loom’s under continuous arguments indicating acceptance of the proposal is really humorous. Thus we see that the whole play is replete with humour, making it a humorous play.
8. Give a brief character sketch of Natalya.
Ans. Natalya was 25 years old and the daughter of Chubukov. She was a good housekeeper, not bad to look at and educated; that was why Lomov wanted to marry her. She could be a good wife to him.
She secretly loved Lomov. She became hysterical when she came to know that Lomov had come to propose to her. She asked her father to call him back. To please Lomov she asked him to forgive her and agreed to his ownership of the Oxen Meadows.
She was greedy and short-sighted. She got the whole field of hay cut. She was also very inquisitive and wanted to know why Lomov was dressed up formally.
She was touchy and short-tempered and fell into contradiction and argument on two occasions—once over the ownership of Oxen Meadows and the second time over the superiority of her dog Squeezer.
She is as rigid as Lomov. She is not ready to give up even after getting ready to marry him.
Q.9. Bring out the humorous element in the one-act play ‘The Proposal’.
Ans. The one-act play ‘The Proposal’ is full of the humorous element. The characters in the play behave ridiculously. Lomov comes to propose to Natalya. But he cannot talk in a straight forward manner. He beats about the bush. He starts quarrelling with her over a piece of land. When he comes back, he quarrels about the superiority of his dog. Chubukov is also a humorous character. He knows that Lomov has come to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Even when he quarrels with him. We laugh at the words used by them and their behaviour. The sudden marriage of Lomov and Natalya creates laughter. Chubukov puts his daughter’s hand in Lomov’s in a foolish manner. Lomov is a comic character. His complaints about his poor health provoke laughter. Thus the play gives us a lot of laughter.
Q.10. Draw a brief character-sketch of Natalya. [H.B.S.E. March 2017 (Set-D)]
Ans. Natalya is the heroine of the play ‘The Proposal’. She is twenty-five years old. She is still unmarried. It causes great worry to her father. Natalya wishes that somebody should love her and propose to her. Her father calls her ‘a love-sick cat.’
She is very quarrelsome. She quarrels with others over trifles. Lomov comes to propose to her, but she starts quarrelling with him over the ownership of a piece of land. Lomov leaves her house in a fit of anger. When she comes to know that he had come to propose to her, she starts weeping. She asks her father to bring him back. When Lomov comes back, she tries to please him. But after some time, she starts quarrelling with him on the question of dogs. Lomov faints and she again begins to wail lest she should lose the opportunity for marriage. After some time, Lomov regains consciousness. Her father does not want to lose this opportunity. He at once puts Natalya’s hand in the hands of Lomov. He announces that they are engaged with each other. Natalya. become very happy. But she again starts quarrelling with him. Thus Natalya is an interesting character.
Q11. Describe the first meeting of Lomov and Natalya.
Ans. Lomov goes to his neighbour Chuhukov’s house to ask for the hand of his daughter Natalya. When he talks to Natalya, he becomes nervous. He is in a fix on how to make the marriage proposal. He talks in a round-about manner. He beats about the bush. He makes mention of his meadows which touch their birchwoods. At this, a quarrel ensues between them over the ownership of the meadows. Both of them claim the ownership and start rebuking each other. In the meantime, Chubukov comes there. Instead of pacifying them, he also joins the quarrel. He abuses Lomov which worsens the situation. Lomov is deeply upset. He leaves Chubukov’s house and forgets about the marriage proposal.
Q.12. Give a short character sketch of Lomov.
Ans. Lomov is the hero of the One Act Play ‘The Proposal’. He is a land-owner. He is a funny character He is a young man of thirty-five years. He becomes nervous very soon. He loses his temper whenever he is upset. He looks very funny when he complains about his ill-health. He is short-tempered. He quarrels with Natalya over the ownership of a piece of land. He also quarrels with her over the superiority of his dog. He loses temper and starts abusing Chubukov. He loses control over himself and faints in a fit of anger. Lomov is a funny and foolish character. We laugh at his dress, manners and behaviour. Lomov is a bachelor even at the age of thirty-five. He wants to marry Natalya not out of love but because he is already a grown-up man. He has no sense of beauty. He wants to marry Natalya only because she is a good house-keeper.
Q.13. What is the theme of the play ‘The Proposal’?
Ans. The One Act play ‘The Proposal’ throws light on the lifestyle of the landlords of Russia in the 19th century. The farm labourers worked on their farms. So these landlords led a life of ease and comfort. In fact. they led an idle life. They were full of vanity and pride. They quarrelled over petty things. In the play, we see that Lomov and Natalya have a dispute over a piece of land. They quarrel again over the qualities of their dogs. Chubukov, Natalya’s father, instead of pacifying them, joins them. He and Lomov abuse each other. All of them behave in a very funny way. The play also brings to light the social life of the landowners of the 19th century. An unmarried grown-up daughter was considered a great burden by the parents. Chubukov curses himself for being the father of Natalya. An aged bachelor was also looked down upon in society. This theme has been presented nicely through the characters of Lomov and Natalya.
Q14. How and why does Lomov go to Chubukov’s house? How does Chubukov react to his visit?
Ans. Lomov is a Russian landlord of thirty-five years old. He is a neighbour of another rich landlord Chubukov. He is at a critical age when he thinks he should get married. He wants to lead a peaceful and regular married life. He sees in Chubukov’s daughter Natalya an ideal life-companion. He thinks she is a good housekeeper, educated and not bad looking. He comes to Chubukov’s house with a proposal of marriage. Naturally, he is formally dressed in a fashionable jacket and white gloves. In the beginning, Chubukov seems to be rather cold to his visit. He thinks that Lomov has come to borrow money from him. However, his indifference soon changes into warm enthusiasm. Lomov tells him the real purpose of his visit. Chubukov is extremely happy to hear it. He tells Lomov that he has been thinking for a long time for this marriage. He calls Lomov a good neighbour and an ‘angel’. He is ready to give his consent to their marriage.
Q15. Describe how does Natalya react before and after knowing the real purpose of Lomov’s visit. Does she act sensibly in this regard?
Ans. Natalya is a woman of twenty-five years. She is of marriageable age and wants to get married at all cost. Chubukov calls her a love-sick cat. Lomov visits her house and has come with a proposal of marriage. She doesn’t know of it and comes to know of it only after Lomov goes out in disgust. Before that Natalya and Lomov have a long quarrel over the ownership of Oxen Meadows. Lomov claims the owner and is ready to show the necessary documents to prove his claim. Natalya calls Lomov a strange man who wants to grab their land. His act is unfriendly not like that of a good neighbour. Lomov feels excited and insulted and goes out in disgust. We find a different Natalya when she comes to know the real purpose of Lomov’s visit. She cries loudly to bring Lomov back. She threatens to die if he is not brought back. Lomov returns. But old habits die hard. Both Lomov and Natalya forget the real issue of their marriage. The quarrel over the Meadows is settled. Now they start fighting over their dogs Squeezer and Guess. Natalya calls Lomov’s dog Guess and old and good for nothing. On the other hand, Lomov calls her dog Squeezer far inferior to his dog Guess. This quarrel continues till Lomov becomes unconscious. In the end, Chubukov loses no opportunity and says “Be quick and get married.” Natalya embraces and blesses Lomov and they are blessed by Chubukov. They start their married life by picking up a fresh quarrel over Squeezer and Guess.
Q16. Give a brief pen-portrait highlighting his strength and weakness of his character. Why can’t he express himself like a calm and composed man?
Ans. Lomov is a Russian landlord of thirty-five years. He is a neighbour of another rich landlord Chubukov. Lomov is highly impulsive, irritating and quarrelsome. Physically, he is a wrack. He enjoys very poor health. He suffers from palpitations, hyper-tensions and heart problems. He is easily excited and irritated. Lomov realises that he has reached an age when he needs a peaceful and regular life. In Chubukov’s daughter Natalya he sees an ideal life-partner. She is a good house-keeper, educated and not bad looking. So, he visits Chubukov’s house with a proposal of marriage.
Lomov is confused. He can’t talk like a calm and composed man. He forgets the main issue and the purpose of his visit. He indulges in unnecessary details and quarrels over the ownership of Oxen Meadows. He does not know how to solve and deal with controversies. He picks up a new quarrel over the dogs. He unsuccessfully tries to prove that his dog Guess is far superior to Natalya’s dog Squeezer.
Lomov appears in a formal dress. He seems to be fashionable, well-dressed and presentable. He is a gentleman and acknowledges the help received from his neighbour Chubukov. He is self-respecting and is ready to give Oxen Meadows to Natalya as a present. Last but not least, his desire for many Natalya is practical and genuine.
Q17. In spite of being a good housekeeper educated and not bad looking, Natalya is quarrelsome, vain and highly impulsive. Justify your answer in 120 words.
Ans. Natalya is the daughter of a rich Russian landlord Chubukov. She is twenty-five years old. She knows that she must marry and not lose a suitable match for her. She doesn’t want to miss any opportunity to many her neighbour and landlord Lomov. Natalya is a good housekeeper, educated and not bad looking. Even Lomov acknowledges her skills and suitability as his life-partner. He himself comes to her house with a proposal of marriage.
In spite of having many good qualities which helps her to be an ideal wife, Natalya has certain weaknesses in her character. She is quarrelsome like her father. She doesn’t seem to be practical and prudent. She is ‘a love-sick cat’. She is dying too many Lomov. However, she forgets the main issue but indulges in unnecessary quarrels over the ownership of Oxen Meadows. She irritates Lomov by proving the superiority of her dog Squeezer over his dog Guess. However, she grabs the opportunity in the end. As directed by Chubukov, she embraces, blesses and gets married to Lomov at once. But old habits die hard. She starts her married life with a fresh quarrel.
Q18. Chubukov has all the attributes of a quarrelsome rich Russian landlord. Instead of solving the problems, he only adds fuel into the fire in their quarrel over Oxen Meadows and the dogs. Justify the statement.
Ans. Chubukov represents a typical rich landlord of 19th century Russia. He seems to be fairly rich and resourceful. Even his neighbour Lornov acknowledges the frequent help rendered to him by Chubukov. He lands his threshing machine to Lomov. On account of this help, he has to put off their own threshing till November. Chubukov is quite practical. He knows that Lomov can be a good match for his daughter Natalya. So, he at once gives his assent to Lomov’s proposal of marrying her. Actually, he has been waiting for such a proposal for a long time. Chubukov is a landlord and can’t resist his hunger for land. He opposes the claim of Lomov over the ownership of Oxen Meadows. He even threatens to send his mowers out to the Meadows.
Chubukov can be quite quarrelsome, abusing and insulting. He always sides with his daughter. He picks up a quarrel on Oxen Meadows. He calls Lomov “a landgrabber” and “villain”. He abuses his grandfather of being a “drunkard” and his father a ‘gambler’. He jumps into the quarrel and adds only fuel to the fire. However, Chubukov is a great opportunity. He grabs the opportunity the moment Lomov comes into the senses. He makes Natalya kiss and embrace Lomov and gets them married.
Q19. Justify the title of the lesson, ‘The Proposal’.
Ans. Anton Chekov has aptly and logically titled his one-act-play ‘The Proposal’. The title justifies the theme and the subject of the play. The whole story revolves round Lomov’s marriage proposal to Chubukov’s daughter Natalya. The play ends with Chubukov asking Natalya to hurry up and get married immediately. Natalya seals the proposal by kissing and embracing Lomov. Chubukov willingly and happily blesses the couple.
The play begins with the visit of Lomov to Chubukov’s house. The moment Chubukov comes to know that Lomov has come with a proposal of marriage, he becomes extremely happy. Lomov is genuinely interested in marrying Natalya. He thinks that she is a good housekeeper, educated and not bad looking. He sees in Natalya an ideal wife who can help him in leading a peaceful and regular life. Natalya herself being a love-sick cat sees in Lomov a suitable life-partner for her. The Moment she comes to know that Lomov has come with a marriage proposal, she blames her father for not telling it before. She threatens to die if Lomov is not brought back immediately.
No doubt, there are quarrels and disputes over the ownership of Oxen Meadows and on the superiority of their dogs. I Abuses and insults are freely traded. But this farce can’t hide the real intention of the main characters. The play ends with Natalya kissing and embracing Lomov and Chbukov blessing the newly married couple.
Q20. What are the main points of controversy over the ownership of Oxen Meadows between Chubukov and Lomov? How and why does Natalya jump into the quarrel?
Ans. The ownership of Oxen Meadows is claimed by both the families, the Lomov and the Chubukovs. It becomes a bone of contention between them. Lomov claims that his Oxen Meadows touch the Birdwood of Chubukov. Natalya contests the claim. She claims that they belong to them. Lomov explains that his aunt’s grandmother gave the free use of the Meadows to the peasants of the Chubukovs. In return, they were to make bricks for the Lomovs. Natalya claims that their land expands to Burnt Marsh. Hence, Oxen Meadows belong to them. They have had the land for 300 years. Lomov is ready to present the necessary documents to prove his ownership over the Meadows. Natalya threatens to send her mowers to the Meadows. Chubukov comes in and jumps into the quarrel. He sides with his daughter. Lomov threatens to go to court. There is a free exchange of abuses and insults. Chubukov calls Lomov’s grandfather a drunkard. Lomov calls Chubukov’s mother hump-backed. Natalya calls Chubukov’s mother hump-backed. Natalya calls Lomov dishonest, rascal and mean. Chubukov calls Lomov a villain and a scarecrow. The dispute ends, when Natalya comes to know about the marriage proposal. She surrenders her claim and accepts that the Meadows belong to Lomov.
Q21. Doesn’t it look ridiculous and childish to see mature persons like Natalya, Lomov and Chubukov quarrelling over their dogs, Squeezer and Guess? Give the reasons answer.
Ans. Natalya and Lomov are mature persons who can be childish and ridiculous on occasions. They easily forget the main issue—the proposal of marriage. No doubt, Natalya is a love-sick cat and is dying to marry Lomov. Even Lomov considers Natalya a good housekeeper. Such a good looking and educated woman can be an ideal wife for him. But both of them fail to come to the main issue. After the dispute over the ownership of Oxen Meadows is resolved, they pick up a fresh quarrel over their dogs. Their behaviour is childish and unwanted considering their mature age. Their dogs Squeezer and Guess become the symbols of their vanity and false pride. Natalya calls her Squeezer a thoroughbred animal of a noble breed. Chubukov jumps into the quarrel. He calls Squeezer the best dog in the district. He calls Lomov’s dog Guess old and short in the muzzle. It is free for all. Abuses and insults are exchanged. Lomov calls Chubukov an “intriguer”, “old rat” and “Jesuit”. Chubukov calls Lomov “Boy! Pup!” and “milksop! Fool!”. The quarrel ends only when Lomov lies down unconscious in an armchair.
Q22. How do Natalya and Chubukov react when Lomov falls down in an armchair and considered to be dead? How does Chubukov manage to get Natalya married with Lomov?
Ans. Anton Chekov’s play The Proposal’ presents a farcial situation when Lomov falls down unconscious in an armchair. Before that, there has been a free for all. Insults and abuses were freely hurled. The dispute over Oxen Meadows was settled but the quarrel over the dogs took an unpleasant turn. Lomov is called “Boy! Pup!”, Milksop” and “Fool”. He the heat and excitement and falls down unconscious: He is thought to be almost dead.
Both Natalya and Chubukov feel that things are going out of their hands. They feel helpless. Chubukov feels like shooting himself or cutting his own throat. Natalya is dying for marriage. The moment Lomov comes to senses, everyone feels relieved. Chubukov can’t afford to miss the opportunity. He tells Natalya to “hurry up and get married!” She too acts at once. She embraces and kisses Lomov and gives her willing to marry him. Only one thing is left for Chubukov. He blesses the newly married couple and opens a bottle of champagne. They say old habits die hard. The new couple starts their married life with a fresh quarrel. It is over their dogs Squeezer and Guesses again.