Although written humorously, Chekhov’s play emphasized how most proposal’s have little to do with two people’s compatibility with one another and more to do with the grand “occasion.” Natalya and Ivan had little chemistry and did nothing but fight about their assets. During the beginning of the play we learn that Ivan was not marrying for true love, but instead for status. Nowadays, proposals have evolved to be more elaborate and must now be deemed “worthy” for social medias approval.
I think “The Marriage Proposal” was a fun jab created to mock those who marry only for the embellishment. In the United States, as gender quality comes more and more into fruition, women are finding ways to still feel like “women,” and proposals take on those gender expectations of man and woman. In Chekhov’s play we see that it was Ivan’s duty and his duty alone to find a woman to propose to. We also learn that while Natalya had feelings for him, she still did not take it upon herself to propose marriage since she was playing into her role of “woman.” Only she could be proposed to.
While Ivan had dressed for the occasion, his formal attire could not overcome the differences between him and Natalya. Meaning no matter how beautiful the event might be, it cannot overcome inconsolable difference.