The Proposal, a farcical one-act play written in 1888–89 by Anton Chekhov, a Russian storyteller and playwright, is the subject of Chapter 11 of Class 10 English textbook, First Flight. Here is a synopsis of the text in the form of CBSE English Notes for Class 10. Students enrolled in CBSE Class 10 may get a prose summary of The Proposal here. While preparing for their Board exams, they might consult the CBSE Class 10 English Prose Notes – The Proposal.
CBSE Class 10 English notes will assist students in studying the topic thoroughly and clearly.
These CBSE Class 10 English notes were written by subject experts who made the study material very basic, both in terms of language and format.
Lomov at Chubukov’s House
The action of the play begins in Chubukov’s drawing room. Ivan Lomov pays a visit to Chubukov. Chubukov is overjoyed to finally meet him. He’s taken aback when he sees Lomov dressed up and asks if he’s going somewhere. Lomov explains that he has come to see him because he requires his assistance. Lomov, Chubukov believes, must have come to borrow money from him. Finally, Lomov explained that he had come to ask Chubukov’s daughter Natalya for her hand in marriage.
Reaction of Chubukov to the Proposal
Chubukov is ecstatic when he hears about the proposal. He kisses and hugs Lomov. He tells Lomov that he has been waiting for this proposal for a long time. He even promises Natalya that she will accept the proposal and goes to call her.
Lomov considers Natalya and his own life.
Overexcitement causes Lomov to tremble (shake). In the drawing room, Lomov is alone. He begins to converse with himself. Natalya is a good housekeeper in his opinion. She is well-educated and attractive. He believes that now is the time to marry because he is thirty-five years old. He believes that now is the time for him to live a peaceful and quiet life. He also believes he is restless all of the time and cannot get a good night’s sleep.
Lomov Meets Natalya
When Natalya walks into the drawing room, she is taken aback by the presence of Lomov. She inquires as to why Lomov had not visited in such a long time. She greets Lomov and begins discussing the work in the fields. She suddenly notices Lomov’s outfit. She inquired as to why he was dressed in evening (formal) attire and if he was going to a ball (party).
Lomov explains the reason for his visit. Instead of discussing the proposal, Lomov informs her about the Lomov-Chubukov family’s good relations. He also mentions Oxen Meadows, which he received as a gift from his aunt.
Argument over Oxen Meadows
Natalya tells Lomov that the Oxen Meadows do not belong to him after hearing him refer to them as his own. They were theirs in the first place. The Oxen Meadows became the source of contention. They both claim ownership of the Meadows on a regular basis. Lomov says he’ll show documents to back up his claims. Lomov clarifies that he is referring to the Oxen Meadows, which are located halfway between her Birchwoods and Burnt Marsh. He clarifies that the Oxen Meadows were a source of contention between their families in the past. However, it now belongs to Lomov. His aunt’s grandmother gave it to Natalya’s father’s grandfather’s peasants for free. For the grandmother, the peasants used to make bricks. Chubukovs began to consider the meadows to be their own after forty years of peasant use.
Argument Continues between Natalya and Lomov
Natalya disagrees and maintains that those meadows were their property. She claims that they have owned the land for nearly 300 years. Both Lomov and Natalya insist that the land isn’t worth much money, but they want it for principle’s sake. As a gift to Natalya, Lomov proposes to create meadows. Natalya also claims that she can make meadows for Lomov as a present.
Chubukov Joins the Argument
Chubukov enters the room and discovers the source of the quarrel. He backs Natalya and informs Lomov that Oxen Meadows is their property. The feud grows to the point where Lomov and Chubukov begin abusing each other and their families. Chubukov informs Lomov that he cannot speak to him in such a disrespectful manner because he is twice his age. He refers to Chubukov as a land snatcher. Lomov threatens to take Chubukov to court if he doesn’t stop. Lomov’s grandfather, according to Chubukov, was a drunkard.
Nastasya, his younger aunt, ran away with an architect. Chubukov refers to him as a scarecrow and a villain. He also refers to him as a monster for having the audacity to propose. All of this excites Lon1ov, and his health begins to deteriorate as a result. Finally, Chubukov tells Lomov that he must leave his home and never return.
Natalya Gets to Know about the Proposal
Chubukov informs Natalya that Lomov had come to propose marriage to her as soon as he leaves. When Natalya hears this, she nearly passes out and begins to cry. She accuses Chubukov of irritating/exciting Lomov and requests that he return Lomov to her. Chubukov sets out to reclaim Lomov.
Another Argument over Dogs
Lomov returns to the house. The conversation is shifted when Natalya informs him that the Oxen Meadows belong to Lomov. Then they get into a discussion about dogs. Natalya is told by Lomov that his dog, ‘Guess,’ is the best dog. Natalya refutes Lornov’s claims once more, referring to her dog as ‘Squeezer,’ which she believes is superior to Guess. An argument erupts once more. Both of them list the characteristics of their dogs and claim that theirs is superior to the other’s. Chubukov also joins the argument, which escalates to the point where they begin abusing each other.
Chubukov Asks Lomov to Marry Natalya
Lomov’s condition worsens as they argue, and he falls into an armchair. Both Natalya and Chubukov start crying because they believe he has died. They believe Natalya’s chances of marrying have faded.
Lomov eventually comes to his senses. Natalya is ready for marriage, according to Chubukov, and they should marry soon. He joins their hand because he doesn’t want to waste any time. He invites them to kiss one another.
But they start arguing about their dogs again, and Chubukov orders Champagne for everyone to try to calm her daughter down.
Overview of the Chapter
‘The Proposal’ is a one-act play about wealthy families’ tendency to use marriage to increase their wealth. In the story, Lomov, a wealthy man, approaches Chubukov’s house with a proposal to marry his daughter, Natalya. However, all three of them have quarrels over minor matters. They continue their quarrels even after the proposal is made.
Chubukov, Stepan Stepanovitch
He is a landowner and the father of Natalya, a young girl.
She is a small child. She is fussy and argumentative.
Lomov, Ivan Vassllevitch
He is a young man who has expressed his desire to marry Natalya. He is also very argumentative