How Does Chekhov Use The Pause For The Purposes Of Characterization? What Other Ends Does It Serve?


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Uzair Ahmed answered
Pauses occur quite frequently in Chekhov's Cherry Orchard. There are various purposes of using these pauses at different occasions. Moreover, these pauses have varying effect in different acts of the play. Sometimes, these pauses contribute in creating suspense in the mind of the audience and sometimes they contribute to the serene atmosphere that the writer wants to build on stage. For example, in the second act of the play, we have sixteen pauses, which is the highest number of pauses we have in any act of the play. If look at the overall scenario of this act, we will see that there is some pastoral and tranquil feeling associated with the play. So, we can say that in this act the use of pauses is to enhance the feeling to some further extent.
Pauses, sometimes, also tell us about the character's inner personality and the thoughts of the character. But to analyse a character's thoughts with help of pauses, we have to see the context in which we have a pause. For example, in the first act of the play, Lopakhin makes a pause during his recollection of his first encounter with Renevsky. The pause occurs when he remembers that he was called a "Peasant". Here, the pause highlights the inner conflict of the character. The conflict between two parts of Lopakhin; one that loves Ranevsky and the other, which dislikes being called a peasant.

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