Chapter 11: The Proposal
Lomov enters his neighbour Chubukov’s house. He is fully dressed up in his evening attire. Chubukov is surprised to see him well-dressed and asks him the occasion. Lomov says that he had come to make a request. Chubukov makes out that he must have come to ask for money which he doesn’t want to give. But Lomov had come to ask for Chubulov’ s daughter, Natalya’s hand in marriage.
On hearing this Chubukov gets filled with excitement and calls Natalya. Lomov is a 35 year- old gentleman suffering from palpitations gets upset very quickly and doesn’t sleep well. He think she should get married now and is happy about getting married to Natalya Natalya is an average-looking girl but a good housekeeper. When Natalya arrives, he begins conversing with her about how happy he is that both the families are on good terms and mentions about the Oxen Meadows which was earlier a disputed property but was his now.
Natalya believed that Oxen Meadows belonged to her family. As a result, they enter into a intense argum ent and act absurdly. Chubukov enters into the conversation and it gets more heated. They start shouting and screaming on each other and Lomov suffers from severe pounding of the heart, a side pull and a numb foot. They throw him out of their house and curse him. While speaking ill of him, Chubukov accidentally tells about the marriage proposal of Natalya. Natalya gets surprised and regrets sending him out. She tells her father to bring him back and Chubukov starts cursing himself.
When Lomov returns, Natalya tries to diverge to another topic and starts talking about shooting. Somehow they enter into an argument again about their dogs. Natalya th en feels that her Squeezer is better than Lomov’s Guess. They continue arguing and Chubukov enters and makes the situation worse, once again.
Everyone gets tensed and Lomov finally falls down due to his palpitations. The argument and cursing still continues till Natalya notices that he is unconscious. They try to get water down his throat but end up getting unsuccessful and declare him dead. It is only when Lomov moves a little bit, they feed him some water and Chubukov forcefully hands over N atalya’s hands to him, gives his blessings and asks them to kiss.
Lomov, still not fully conscious doesn’t understa nd what is going on. When he finally comes to his senses, he expresses his excitement and kisses Nata lya’s hands. Natalya, being childish as she is, manipulates him into accepting that Squeezer is better than Guess but Lomov, being adamant as he is, refuses to accept it. Thus, once again, the quarrelling continues.