Lomov, the central character in Anton Chekhov’s one-act play “The Marriage,” is a comedic figure whose character sketch unfolds as a satirical exploration of the absurdities and anxieties surrounding the institution of marriage in 19th-century Russian society. Lomov’s portrayal as a hypochondriac, socially awkward landowner captures the comedic essence of the play.
Physically, Lomov is presented as a middle-aged landowner, meticulous about his appearance and overly concerned about his health. The exaggeration of his hypochondria becomes a recurring theme in the play, providing humor through his constant complaints about ailments, real or imagined. Lomov’s character sketch is marked by this neurotic obsession with his well-being, a trait that adds a layer of absurdity to his persona.
Lomov’s primary motivation is his desire to marry and expand his landholdings. This utilitarian approach to matrimony reflects the societal norms of the time, where marriages were often viewed as strategic alliances for economic and social gain. Lomov embodies the practical expectations placed on individuals to conform to traditional notions of success through marriage, and his character sketch becomes a caricature of the social pressures of the era.
Socially, Lomov is portrayed as socially awkward and lacking in confidence. Despite his determination to propose to Natalya, the daughter of his neighbor Chubukov, Lomov finds himself ensnared in trivial arguments that derail his plans. His inability to navigate social interactions smoothly contributes to the comedic tone of the play, emphasizing the disparities between his intentions and the farcical reality of his attempts at courtship.
Lomov’s character sketch reveals a man plagued by self-doubt and anxiety, despite his grand intentions of proposing to Natalya. The internal conflict within him adds depth to his character, highlighting a vulnerability beneath the surface. Lomov’s tendency to overanalyze situations and his inability to articulate his feelings contribute to the comedic misunderstandings that escalate throughout the play.
The play’s climax occurs during Lomov’s proposal to Natalya when a seemingly trivial argument over a disputed meadow spirals into a full-blown feud. Lomov’s character is pushed to the extreme as he experiences a fainting spell, revealing the absurdity of the situation. The humor arises from the incongruity between Lomov’s grand intentions and the farcical nature of the argument, showcasing the satirical elements in Chekhov’s portrayal.
In the resolution of the play, Lomov undergoes a transformation of sorts. Despite the chaotic events and the absurdities surrounding his courtship, Natalya’s father convinces him to propose again. The final scene sees Lomov and Natalya awkwardly agreeing to marry, highlighting the arbitrary nature of societal norms and the farcical rituals surrounding courtship. In this resolution, Lomov’s character sketch becomes a reflection of the absurdity inherent in conforming to societal expectations, even at the expense of personal happiness.
In conclusion, Lomov in “The Marriage” is a satirical creation, a character whose exaggerated qualities and comedic mishaps serve as a critique of societal expectations surrounding marriage in 19th-century Russia. His hypochondria, social awkwardness, and utilitarian approach to matrimony contribute to the play’s humorous commentary on the absurdities of courtship and the farcical nature of conforming to societal norms. Lomov’s character becomes a vehicle through which Chekhov explores the inherent contradictions and anxieties associated with the pursuit of marriage in a society governed by rigid expectations.
Rahul Kumar is a passionate educator, writer, and subject matter expert in the field of education and professional development. As an author on CoursesXpert, Rahul Kumar’s articles cover a wide range of topics, from various courses, educational and career guidance.