An Examination of Wealth as a Determinant of Freedom in a Doll's House and the Cherry Orchard

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An examination of wealth as a determinant of freedom in A Doll's House and The Cherry Orchard

From the early establishment of societies and economies, wealth has been seen as a symbol for freedom due to the numerous possibilities it presents. A Doll's House and The Cherry Orchard both present characters ensnared by their lack of wealth. Consequently, a casual observer will assume that financial difficulty is the major obstacle plaguing those in the plays. Delving further, it is apparent that the lack of psychological freedom is the prevailing dilemma, as can be seen when financial difficulties are overcome and the caged atmosphere remains. Ibsen and Chekhov both initially stress the theme of wealth and money is viewed as the foundation
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Neither Chekhov nor Ibsen gave evidence of another conflict thus far, and the audience is convinced by the illusions, believing that should the financial difficulties be absolved the conflicts would end.

The link between freedom and wealth is ultimately severed with new evidence as the plays progress. This is painfully clear in A Doll's House:

Krogstad. Well, in any case, it would have been of no use to you now. If you stood there with ever so much money in your hand, I would never part with your bond.

Although repaying the loan is no longer a difficult task for Nora due to Torvald's upcoming promotion, her state of entrapment remains true. The audience becomes aware that Nora is psychologically cornered by Krogstad's blackmailing. The Cherry Orchard presents a similar idea, albeit subtlety. Lopakhin finds himself in very much the same situation as Nora throughout the play:

Lopakhin: ...Like a pig in a pastry shop...I may be rich, I've made a lot of money, but if you think about it, analyze it, I'm a peasant through and through.

Although his success as a businessman is undeniable, Lopakhin nevertheless appears somber at times, as he is resentful of his serf heritage. On various occasions, he recounts his childhood with self-pity and indignation:

Lopakhin: My father was a

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