Comparison Between Madame Liubov( The Cherry Orchard) And Madame Aubain(A Simple Heart) Essay
Strong and believable women characters are always a treat to get to know. In the earlier era, when women were mostly dominated by their male counterparts, it is a treat to read about female characters who stood up for themselves, and fought for what they felt was right. Even in the most difficult times, they had the resolution to evolve out of the darkness and have the courage to maintain their dignity, and keep their heads held high.
Set in 1861, The Cherry Orchard is a play that describes how the family of Madame Luibov comes to visit their old country estate. Luibov is completely attached to the estate. She knows that she needs to sell the estate to gather finance, but she can’t bring herself to do it. When Lopakhin, the son of a former serf, offers to put up summer houses there, Madame Luibov is disgusted. She is crushed when eventually Lopakhin buys the estate himself, but moves on, nonetheless.
The Simple Heart is a story of Felicite, the maid to Madame Aubain. She had been scorned by her lover early in life. From that day onwards, she has been working for Madame Aubain. Felicite is passionately attached to her nephew and also her mistress’ daughter. When both these
young people die, Madame Aubain and Felicite are heartbroken. Madame Aubain soon dies herself, and Felicite is left to her miserable fate, as she slowly goes into depression and then passes away herself.
Madame Luibov, is of course, a primary character in the play “The Cherry Orchard.” Madame Aubain, however, is more of a supporting character in “The Simple Heart.” Yet, there are several common characteristics both these women share between themselves. Both of these women are attached to their past. Luibov is passionately fond of her estate. It is the place where she grew up, and this is the place she wants to return to, again and again. She misses her mother’s presence in the estate, and wants to be a child again. She doesn’t want to remember her adult life. She wants to wipe out every shameful act she did. She is severely disappointed when the estate is sold.
Similarly Madame Aubain is positively obsessed with her dead husband. She is incapable of coming out of her widowhood. She has kept the memory of his presence all over their house. She has this notion that her married life gave her the social status, and thus, she keeps a passionate attachment to her past. She just doesn’t want to let go of it.
The second trait both these women share is their ability to love. Luibov is very loving by nature. She wants to help the poor, and freely gives away money to them. Luibov is very fond of her cheating lover, and even wants to return to him. Her love for her dead son is also reflected in the scene where she weeps for hours after meeting a friend of his. Luibov is also in love with her estate like it is real being. She is passionately attached to it.
Aubin, too, is besotted with her dead husband. She hasn’t been able to forget him, even after years. She is terribly attached to her children. She fears relentlessly when she doesn’t hear from her daughter for a few days. She is a doting mother.
The third characteristic both these women have in common is their connection with money. Both women have it in plenty, and don’t really care much about it. They aren’t miserly, and are quite free with giving it away. Perhaps it is their upper-class mentality that lets them think beyond finance as the only importance of life. They think money is something that accumulates over time, and must be enjoyed.
This pair of women is indeed a strong and believable one. There might be some debate on the point that both of them are aristocratic and live lives of luxury. Their struggles aren’t tough enough. But, there is also an inherent pain in these two women’s journeys. They are unable to let go of their past, even when times are difficult. Their immense love is rarely reciprocated by the others. However, they still hold their heads up high, and move on. They don’t give up. Beneath their classy lives, is their vulnerability. However, they come out stronger, and indeed believable.
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