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The Proposal | English | CBSE | Class X

Lesson Architecture

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  • Lesson-At-A-Glance

  • NCERT Solution

  • Long Question & Answers


  • This story is a one-act farcical play depicting the norm among wealthy families in nineteenth-century Russia for marriage alliance with wealthy families.

  • Such ties are of utmost importance because they made good economic sense.

  • Love and romance did not hold a prominent place in such marriages of convenience.

  • The play also highlights on the conflict and differences of opinion that underlies the husband-wife relationship.


  • Ivan Vassilevitch is a landowner and neighbour of Stephan Stepanovitch Chubukov and his daughter Natalya.

  • Mr. Ivan comes to visit Chubukov to ask for the hand of his daughter in marriage.

  • Chubukov is ecstatic and says how he had always loved Lomov as his own son.

  • Chubukov's hypocrisy is exposed when he goes in to call Natalya, saying that a merchant has come for his goods.

  • Lomov is thirty-five and needs a quiet and regular life for he suffers from palpitations and other symptoms of a weak heart.

  • He thinks that Natalya would suit him as she is not bad-looking , well-educated and an excellent housekeeper.

  • When Natalya comes to meet him, they start quarrelling over a piece of land.

  • Natalya insists that it belongs to her family while Lomov maintains that it was only given for use to their peasants for forty years by his aunt's grandmother.

  • The argument between Natalya and Lomov became intense and when Chubukov joins them, the argument became further heated till Lomov leaves the place.

  • On hearing the news that Lomov came to propose to her , Natalya lapses into hysterics and sends her father to bring Lomov back in her house.

  • As soon as Lomov comes back, he complains of his heart and other ailments.

  • Natalya apoligizes to him and agrees with him that Oxen Meadows are his .

  • Natalya does so becasue she perceives an oppportunity to gain ev en more land and wealth by marrying the rich Lomov.

  • Natalya now indulges in another fight over their dogs. They fight over whose dog is better.

  • Their quarrel makes them blind to the real issue at hand-the need to come together and unite through marriage for economic advantage.

  • In the process of quarrelling Lomov's nerves seem to have broken down and he collapses.

  • When Natalya presumes Lomov to be dead, she becomes hysterical again.

  • Fortunately enough, it is just a faint and Lomov soon comes to senses.

  • Natalya' s father does not waste time any further and he forces Natalya and Lomov to kiss as soon as Lomov comes to senses.

  • Chubukov calls for champagne to celebrate what he calls the beginning of 'domestic bliss'.

  • Natalya and Lomov are now a married couple and Chubukov is relieved to finally have his daughter off his shoulders.

NCERT Solution:

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.

Ans: Chubukov at first suspects that Lomov has come to borrow money from him.

Chubukov is not sincere. He had earlier thought that Lomov had come to ask for money , and he had no intention of giving him any. When Chubukov asks him to marry his daughter, he is very pleased and utters these flattery words.

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.

No, Natalya is not a love sick cat as she does not have romantic feeling for Lomov. Moreover, she gets into a heated discussion with Lomov over the ownership of Oxen Meadows.

She apparently seems to be in love with him when she comes to know from her father that Lomov came to their house to propose to her. She immediately calls him back and shows her interest for the marriage as this marriage would suit her monetary interest.

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, doublefaced intriguer.” Again, Lomov begins by describing Natalya as “an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated.”)

The following are the words and expression of the characters and the accusations and insults:

  • Lomov says that Natalya is 'an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated.'

  • Natalya calls Lomov impudent and that he is not very neighbourly. She calls him a rascal and a monster. She also calls his aunt a backbiter.

  • Chubukov calls Lomov a pettifogger, a malicious double-faced intriguer, a villain and a scarecrow.

  • Chubukov calls Lomov's grandfather a drunkard, and his father a guzzling gambler.

  • Lomov says that Chubukov's mother was hump-backed. Lomov calls Chubukov an old rat, a Jesuit, a grabber.

(ii) Then think of five adjectives or adjectival expressions of your own to describe each character in the play.

  • Lomov: Weak, well-dressed, quarrelsome, hot-heated, rich.

  • Chubukov: large, hearty, rude, abusive, wealthy, billigerent, insincere.

  • Natalya: hot headed, practical, quarrelsome, impulsive, rude, impetuous.

(iii) Can you now imagine what these characters will quarrel about next?

Ans: Think about the answer and let me know your opinion in the comments section

Extra Questions will be uploaded soon. Keep visiting the website.

1 Comment

Pratibha Y Dhande
Pratibha Y Dhande
Feb 21, 2023

As we are able to see both lomov and natalya are quit rude in nature and use to start heated argument on any small topic...

According to me both of them will further have debates in there future married life, but both of them are in favour of there own topic. No one will be ready to take there step back, and strongly argive in there favour...

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