The Proposal Summary by Anton Chekhov

Story of 2 Neighbours

The story about two neighbors named Stephan and Ivan. Stephan is an old man who lives with his young daughter Natalya. Ivan has lands besides Stephan’s and has disputes over the meadows.

However, one evening Ivan comes to meet Stephan in his house. He is also dressed up and Stephan asks him about the reason. Ivan seems to be ambiguous with his reasons and beats around the bush.

Ivan’s Confession

Stephan presumes that he has come to ask for some help but Ivan has a different request to make. Ivan confesses her like for Natalya and proposes to marry her. Stephan is pleasantly surprised.

He claims the Natalya has always liked Ivan and that she was old enough to start married life. Ivan praises Natalya’s beauty and homemaking abilities.  

Stephan leaves the room and then Natalya enters the room. She enquires about Ivan’s dress and then complains about the meadows. The two end up arguing heatedly and start to scream at each other.

Natalya’s father joins the two and sides with her daughter on the issue. Feeling intimated Ivan insults Stephan and Natalya. Stephan openly declines Ivan’s proposal and Ivan leaves the house.

Natalya Comes to Know the Truth

After Ivan leaves, Natalya asks her father about the proposal. She laments her rude behavior and demands that her father bring Ivan back.

Ivan returns and ends up chatting Natalya. She talks calmly and accepts Ivan’s demands. However, the two start another argument about their respective dogs. Stephan comes back and again sides with his daughter.

The atmosphere becomes hostile again and results in Ivan fainting. Stephan feels guilt and calls for the doctor. Soon Ivan is revived and he reiterates his proposal.

Both Natalya and Stephan agree and plan a quick wedding. Stephan also feels relieved as a father as he had been getting worried about her unmarried daughter.