The story is set in the 1880s, and the first act begins in a clustered living room of Horace. He is depicted as a wealthy widower with lots of provisions. The old man is a practical thinker as he is opposed to the idea of a man without a steady income marrying his niece. This is the reason he is sending Ermengarde away to prevent the wedding. The plot of the story revolves around the Horace insistence on his money. He judges Ambrose from his poor state other than from his character. He hold onto a theory that money should not be spent. Horace then sermons the chief clerk at tells him that he is getting away for a few days to be married. He makes plans for his reception after the marriage. Dolly is a matchmaker in the play and is supposed to find Horace a suitable wife. She agrees to help Ermengarde and Ambrose with their wedding plans at a meeting in New York. The author draws Horace as a mean character who is questing to fulfil his desires. He claims that love is for fools as he has spent his life hoarding money. The theme of love is paramount in the plot of the story, with the presence of a matchmaker, quest for love and the need to get married despite the challenges.
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Wealth is unequally distributed among the characters. The wealthiest character is Vandergelder. This name was conjured from the German name gelder that means money. On the other had the author draws a character obsessed with pleasure “Ambrose” which is closely related to ambrosia (a pleasure of the senses). The act starts with an inquisition argument between what is more worthy of pursuit: financial security or pleasure, business or the arts? The way in which Horace spends money helps in gauging what he sees of paramount importance. He pays the barber fifteen cents for a haircut. However, when proposing to Mrs. Molly, he is willing to pay up to fifty cents. He further oppresses his workers paying them meagre wages, which leave them with only three dollars in their pockets. To ensure that Ermengarde does not marry Ambrose, he is willing to pay the Cabman fifteen dollars to keep them apart. The actions of Horace jeopardize the love of Ambrose for Ermengarde .The man is so obsessed with his money that he carries a purse stacked with twenty dollar bills. He is contemplating the idea of marrying because he has a lot of money (half a million dollars in the bank).
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Love is depicted in many instances in the play. Different situations put the characters in different situations. It is through his desire to give his niece a better and fulfilling life that he denies her the chance to marry Ambrose. However, his ultimatum does not stick since his niece is satisfied in the end. His rudeness is depicted when he denies of ever having heard of a thing such as a broken heart. He is fooling himself when he thinks that he is interested with women for other reasons other than love. His argument that he needs a housekeeper is conceptualized by Dolly’s idea of the perfect woman. She says that the woman has to be a great cook, wealthy, a third his age and infatuated with him. She does this as she admires him and as an effort to get to him. Contrary to the things that he was looking for, in the end he cannot resist being attracted to her.
The matchmaker illustrates love at first sight. If this was not the case, the plot of the story would spin in different directions. However, the presence of characters such as Cornelius and Barnaby clearly draws the attention of the audience to what love at first sight is all about. Their appearance in Mrs Molly shop makes Cornelius fall instantly and hopelessly in love with her. The theme of love is further culminated in the story with Ambrose seeking the hand of Ermengarde in marriage. However, their love is faced with different obstacles. For one, Ambrose does not have a steady source of income which makes Horace deny him the chance to marry her niece. It is through his persistence and heart work and the love he holds for Ermengarde that he wins the heart of the old man. The old man’s heart and view of love are further changed when he starts trusting Dolly. She makes him realize the importance of love, and this makes him able to have an open relationship.
At the end of the play, a speech is given by the youngest character (Barnaby). It addresses the need and importance of adventure in life. This is one of the lessons that he and Cornelius have learnt throughout the play. Initially the two friends were reluctant about leaving their posts in the store, but in the end they are glad for the results of the adventure. It is only through adventure that Cornelius meets the woman of his dreams and he fall in love. The matchmaker further shows the effects that adventure has on Horace. It is through adventure that the things that he does not value have an effect on him. Unlike his initial safe prospects about life, he learns the need for trusting others. Molly is initially depicted as a dreamer. She has been waiting for a rich man to take her from her job. She falls in love when she gets to meet Cornelius. Further love is seen as Minnie gives Barnaby his first kiss. The fact that Dolly’s husband died does not hinder her from enjoying life and nor do the fact that she is a matchmaker who finds suitable women for Horace. As the play comes to an end she cannot hind her true feeling for Horace.
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The theme of love is paramount in the plot of the story, with the presence of a matchmaker, quest for love and the need to get married despite the challenges. As the cited instances above depict, the matchmaker depicts all sorts of love. From parental love to romantic love, in each scene of the play, love takes the central role. All the characters have different adventures that lead them realize the love surrounding them.