The Proposal: SEBA, TBSE Class 10 English summary and solutions

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Get summary, textbook solutions, questions, answers, extras, notes, pdf for the one-act play The Proposal by Anton Chekhov which is a part of SEBA (Assam Board), TBSE (Tripura Board) Class 10 English (first language) First Flight syllabus.

the proposal

Summary: The Proposal is a one-act play that begins with a young man, Lomov, proposing to his neighbour’s daughter. They have an argument about Oxen Meadows before he can actually tell the girl. The lady’s father, Chubukov, also joins the heated debate. After that, they get into another argument about their dogs and which one is superior to the other. In the midst of all of this, the proposal is forgotten until Lomov collapses from palpitations and Chubukov immediately places her daughter’s hands in Lomov’s. Unfortunately, the squabbles continue.

Lomov enters his neighbour Chubukov’s house fully dressed in his evening attire as the curtain rises. Chubukov is surprised to see him dressed up and inquires about the occasion. Lomov explains that he came to make a request. Chubukov believes he has come to ask for money, which he does not intend to give. When it is revealed that Lomov has come to ask Chubulov’s daughter, Natalya, for her hand in marriage, Chubukov becomes ecstatic and rushes off to call Natalya.

Lomov is a 35-year-old man who has palpitations, gets easily upset, and has trouble sleeping. He believes that this is the best age for him to marry, and he is relieved that he has made up his mind about Natalya. Natalya, he says, is average-looking and a good housekeeper. When Natalya arrives, Lomov begins the conversation by expressing his gratitude and happiness that both of their families have been on good terms since the beginning. While continuing to discuss his land, he mentions Oxen Meadows, which was previously disputed but is now his. Natalya couldn’t believe what he was saying because she believes Oxen Meadows is her family’s property. Both of them get into a heated debate and act childishly when Chubukov walks in to add fuel to the fire. They scream and shout while Lomov suffers from extreme heart pounding, a side pull, and a numb foot. They evict Lomov from the house and continue to curse him.

While speaking negatively about him, Chubukov unintentionally reveals that he had brought Natalya a marriage proposal, which surprises Natalya, and she immediately regrets sending him out. She tells her father to bring him back right away, and Chubukov curses himself for having a grown-up daughter. When Lomov returns, Natalya attempts to change the subject and begins talking about shooting. They get into an argument about their dogs in some way. Natalya believes that her Squeezer is superior to Lomov’s Guess. They continue to argue when Chubukov enters the scene, only to exacerbate the situation once more. Everyone becomes agitated, and Lomov collapses as a result of his palpitations. Even so, the cursing continues until Natalya notices he is unconscious. They attempt to force water down his throat but are unsuccessful and declare him dead.

Only when Lomov moves a little do they give him some water and Chubukov forcibly hands Natalya’s hands over to him, blesses them, and asks them to kiss. Lomov, who is still not fully conscious, has no idea what is going on. When he finally comes to his senses, he expresses his joy by kissing Natalya’s hands. Natalya, being the child that she is, manipulates him into believing that Squeezer is superior to Guess, but Lomov, being the stubborn man that he is, refuses to accept it. As a result, the squabbling has resumed.

Thinking about the play

1. What does Chubukov at first suspect that Lomov has come for? Is he sincere when he later says “And I’ve always loved you, my angel, as if you were my own son”? Find reasons for your answer from the play.

Answer: Chubukov believes Lomov has come to extort money from him. He is not sincere when he says he has loved him as his son because we see Chubukov try to be friendly and loving on the outside while being rude and selfish on the inside.

2. Chubukov says of Natalya: “… as if she won’t consent! She’s in love; egad, she’s like a lovesick cat…”Would you agree? Find reasons for your answer.

Answer: I agree with Chubukov’s statement because Natalya becomes desperate for Lomov when she learns of his marriage proposal. She begins to sob and begs her father to bring him back.

3. (i) Find all the words and expressions in the play that the characters use to speak about each other, and the accusations and insults they hurl at each other. (For example, Lomov, in the end, calls Chubukov an intriguer; but earlier, Chubukov has himself called Lomov a “malicious, double-faced intriguer.” Again, Lomov begins by describing Natalya as “an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated.”)
(ii) Then think of five adjectives or adjectival expressions of your own to describe each character in the play.
(iii) Can you now imagine what these characters will quarrel about next?

Answer: (i) The characters have used a variety of words and expressions to describe one another. Here are a few examples:

Chbukov – grabber, intriguer, old rat, Jesuit.
Natalya – a lovesick cat, an excellent housekeeper, not bad looking, well educated.
Lomov – a good neighbour, a friend, impudent, pettifogger, a malicious double-faced intriguer, rascal, blind hen, turnip ghost, a villain, a scarecrow, monster, stuffed sausage, wizen faced frump, pup, milksop.

(ii) Some adjectives to consider include: proud, industrious, treasure, darling, love, decent, well-educated, sensible, and lovable, among others.

(iii) A quarrel, like a lie, can be done on any subject.

Extra/additional questions and answers/solutions

1. Why did Lomov pay a visit to Chubukov?

Answer: Lomov went to Chubukov’s house to propose to Natalaya.

2. What is Lomov’s opinion of Natalaya?

Answer: Natalaya, he believes, is an excellent housekeeper, attractive, and well-educated.

3. What was Lomov’s age?

Answer: Lomov was thirty-five years old at the time.

4. Where did the Oxen Meadows lie?

Answer: The Oxen Meadows were positioned between Chubukov’s Birchwoods and the Burnt Marsh.

5. What is the play “The Proposal” about?

Answer: The play “The Proposal” tells the storey of Lomov’s visit to his neighbour’s Chubukov home. Lomov is dressed formally. He has come with the intent of proposing marriage to Chubukov’s daughter, Natalaya.

6. What convinces Lomov’s desire to propose to Natalaya?

Answer: Lomov wishes to propose to Natalaya because he believes she is an excellent housekeeper, attractive, and well-educated. Furthermore, he believes that he is thirty-five years old, which is a critical age, and that he should lead a regular and settled life.

7. What is Natalaya’s reaction when she learns that Lomov has come to ask for her hand in marriage?

Answer: She begins crying when she realises Lomov has come to propose to her. She summons her father and requests that he return him immediately. He has left the house following the argument. Chubukov is also accused of driving Lomov away. 

8. What causes Chubukov to misinterpret Lomov’s visit?

Answer: Chubukov misinterprets Lomov’s visit as a request for a loan. He does not reveal the reason for his visit, instead stating that he has come to bother him with a request for assistance.

9. Is Natalaya truly a lovesick cat, as her father describes her? If that’s the case, why does she disagree with Lomov?

Answer: Natalaya was a twenty-five-year-old unmarried girl. She was a young unmarried woman who lived in the Lomov neighbourhood. She was a good housekeeper and not too bad looking. She desired love in her life. Her father referred to her as a “lovesick cat.” Lomov claimed that she was well educated, but she did not appear to be.

She was a squabbling and abusive person by nature. She got into a squabble with Lomov over a piece of land that wasn’t worth much. She claimed that those meadows were unimportant to her, but she couldn’t stand injustice. But when she discovered that Lomov had come to propose to her, she forgot about all fairness and unfairness.

She began to weep over the missed opportunity. She compelled her father to return her call. But she quickly began quarrelling with him again. It had gotten to their dogs. Both claimed that their dogs were of a superior breed.

10. What kind of person is Natalaya? Give two examples to demonstrate her quarrelsome nature.

Answer: Natalaya is also rather hypocritical, as well as obstinate and argumentative. When Natalaya first enters the room, she greets Lomov with warmth and is very gracious in allowing him to smoke and complimenting him on his appearance. When Lomov mentions “my meadows,” she abruptly interrupts and contradicts him. An argument then ensues over who owns what land.

Even when Lomov offers them to her as a gift, she insists on owning them in the first place, reigniting the argument until Lomov leaves. Natalaya is enraged when her father finally reveals to her that Lomov has come to propose marriage, blaming her father for the neighbour’s departure.

11. The ‘Forgive and Forget’ principle is extremely beneficial in maintaining cordial relations with our neighbours. Do you believe the author proves this message in “The Proposal”?

Answer: Life is a journey that is frequently compared to a roller coaster ride. It means that life is full of ifs and buts, as well as ups and downs. However, the virtues of our actions, attitudes, and behaviour can smooth the path of life. And it is from these virtues that the principle of forgiveness and forgetting is derived. Letting go of our anger and bitterness can do wonders for our attitude as well as our health.

Anger, like poison, can contaminate anything. One cannot afford to remain mired in the mire of anger or sadness. Life must move on, and if one wishes to advance, one must learn to “forgive and forget.” This gospel can only be followed by sensitive and great people.

In the current play “The Proposal,” Lomov comes to Chubukov’s house with a proposal to marry his daughter Natalaya. Chubukov’s delight at hearing this knows no bounds. However, during their common conversation, they pick up a nonsensical issue and begin fighting and abusing each other.

Natalaya also enters the fray of verbal sparring. Natalaya learns about the proposal after things have returned to normal following Lomov’s abrupt departure. She requests that her father call Lomov back. When he returns this time, he and Natalaya begin abusing each other and have a heated oral argument about dogs. But, in the end, they reach an agreement, forget their differences, and forgive each other. The proposal evolves into a marriage proposal.

12. Write the character sketch of Natalya.

Answer: Natalya is the twenty-five-year-old unmarried daughter of wealthy landowner Stephen Stepanovitch Chubukov in the play ‘The Proposal.’ Even before she appears, we learn from Lomov’s soliloquy that she is an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, and well-educated. When she finally enters, she appears to be a quarrelsome lady, ill-tempered and lacking in courtesy.

She initially starts a bitter feud with Lomov over ownership of the Oxen Meadows. But when she learns the reason for Lomov’s visit, she becomes extremely excited and impatient to call him back. When Lomov returns, she becomes embroiled in another argument about the superiority of their respective family dogs. Despite the fact that the marriage proposal is finally accepted, Natalya demonstrates herself to be an unworthy lover.

13. Give a brief sketch of Lomov’s character in the play “The Proposal.”

Answer: In Anton Chekhov’s play “The Proposal,” lvan Vessilevitch Lomov is Stephen Stepanovitch Chubukov’s long-time neighbour. He is a 35-year-old single man. The playwright goes on to describe him as a large and hearty landowner who is also very suspicious. He represents the upper class, for whom marriage was a means of gaining economic stability. In reality, his motivation is not romantic, but rather practical and economic. As a result, rather than seeking an ideal or true love, he opts for a quiet and regular life.

As a result, he decides to ask Natalya for her hand in marriage. However, he was involved in numerous arguments with Natalya and her father.

Lomov, on the other hand, delivers a soliloquy while alone, expressing his high level of nervousness as well as a number of physical ailments that have plagued him in his daily life. Lomov’s illness is a symbol of a diseased society. It denotes both individual frailty and social degeneration.

14. Describe Chubukov’s character as a wise father?

Answer: Chubukov is the father of a grown-up daughter, Natalya, in Anton Chekhov’s one-act play “The Proposal.” He is a man of the old school, with a feudal mentality. He views marriage as a financial and social arrangement, rather than an emotional or individual bonding. He sees his daughter as a liability when she marries soon. When this attitude in Chubukov’s character is examined, he does not appear to be a sensible father, but rather a shrewd businessman. 

Chubukov, on the other hand, is not completely unconcerned about his daughter’s feelings. Even after an abusive interaction, Chubukov brings Lomov back not to complete a business transaction, but to satisfy his love-sick daughter’s demands. He recognises his daughter’s desire for Lomov as a husband and actively promotes their marriage. So, despite having all the awkward elements of a feudal landowner, it wouldn’t be fearful to dismiss Chubukov as an insensible father.

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