Three Sisters (Anton Chekhov)

Anton Chekhov opens his brilliant play “Three Sisters” with a trick. Irina, the youngest daughter of the Prozorov family, is celebrating her Saint’s Day with family members, townspeople and soldiers. Irina is young, fresh-faced and beautiful, and the house and garden are garlanded with pink and white flowers. Everything about the occasion points to a spirit of youth and renewal. Yet Irina’s mother and father are both in the ground; and her brother-in-law gives her the same gift he gave her last year, a useless volume from the school where he teaches; and Irina’s deepest wish is to return to Moscow—the magical place where she believes her real life will begin. Time is marching on, but Irina, like the rest of the Prozorovs, feels left behind.