A Marriage Proposal – Summary | Major English Class 12

Anton Chekov

A Marriage Proposal – Summary | Major English Class 12

A Marriage Proposal

n the short play “A Marriage Proposal,” Anton Chekhov describes the odd courtship of Lomov, who seeks marriage with his neighbor’s daughter. Lomov, aged 35, is a long time neighbor of Choobookov. He is a landowner who has inherited property from his aunt. Though he is well fed and healthy, he is hypochondriac. He suffers from palpitations and sleeplessness due to his nervousness. He has passed a critical stage of marriage. He now knows that if he will search for an ideal woman or true love, he will never marry. So he is now desperate to marry Natalia. He thinks that she is not bad-looking and has some education. He wants to lead a steady and regular life. So, he visits the house of his neighbor Choobookov early morning dressed in a formal suit. Choobookov is surprised at the unexpected arrival of Lomov in his formal dress. Lomov asks him Natalia’s hand in marriage. Choobookov is also desperately looking for a suitable man for his 25-year-old daughter, Natalia. As a father of a grown-up daughter, he immediately gives joyful permission to marry Natalia.

She is invited into the room. Lomov becomes nervous and instead of putting his proposal, he begins to beat about the bush. When he says that his Ox Meadows touch her birch woods, she begins to argue with him about the ownership of that piece of land. After her father notices they are arguing, he joins in, and then sends Lomov out of the house. Choobookov then tells his daughter that Lomov was there to propose her.

Natalia repents and asks her father to call him back. Lomov comes and she asks him about his hunting program. He says that he will start hunting after harvest because his best dog has gone lame. At this point, Natalia contradicts him again and claims that her dog Leap is better than his dog Guess. Thus the quarrel begins again till over-excitement makes Lomov faint in a chair. Seeing him quiet and unmoving, Natalia thinks that he is dead and becomes hysterical. At last Lomov comes into senses and Choobookov forces them to kiss each other and accept the marriage proposal. Immediately following the kiss, Natalia and Lomov start quarreling. Choobookov shouts for Champagne because he wants to celebrate their marriage and at the same time he feels free by the burden of his grown-up daughter.

Important Questions:

  • Narrate the series of changes in the attitudes of Natalia towards Lomov.
  • What is Lomov’s idea of marriage?
  • Sketch the character of Lomov.
  • Why does Choobookov have to shout for champagne at the end?
  • How does the topic of dogs bring about the exchange of heated words?
  • Why is Choobookov surprised at the appearance of his visitor?
  • Make a comparison of the characters of Choobookov and Lomov.
  • Write about the purpose of Lomov’s visit to Choobookov’s house.

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