Feelings in Anton Chekhov's The Bear
Length: 802 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)
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Anton Chekhov?s classic play the bear revolves around two protagonists, Mrs. Popov and Grigory Stepanovich Smirnov. Mrs. Popov is a landowner and widow, who after seven months ago is still mourning her husband?s death and decided to isolate herself from the out side world and mourn until the day she dies. Grigory Sepanovich Smirnov is also a landowner, who lends money to Mr. Nikolai Popov before he died and he demands the debts be paid at once because his creditors after him. Smirnov insists, makes light of Popov?s mourning, and refuses to leave her house. Popov and Smirnov angrily fight with one another. Then Smirnov challenges Popov to a gunfight for insulting him and Popov brings out her husand?s pistols. At this point Smirnov realizes that he has fallen in love with Popov. At the end of the play, they end up in love and kiss each other.
Dialogue would have to be the most unbelievable part of this play. As the play progress the dialogue changes from a respectful manner to yelling and mixed feelings coming from both of the character. For instance, in the early part of the play Mrs. Popov speaks to Mr. Smirnov with respect, ?You?ll receive you?re money the day after tomorrow,?(1096) she said with a respectful and polite tone. Later Mrs. Popov insulted and yells in this manner ?You?re nothing but a crude, bear! A brute! A monster!? (1101). At the end of play, she is confused for a moment, ?go away?.No, Get out, get out! I hate you! But- don?t go!?, but they end up in each other?s arms. The difference in the dialogue shows how love is having its effect on Mrs. Popov?s emotional control as her dialogue changes.
Changes in both character?s behavior are equally disturbing as the dramatic changes is dialogue. Popov?s primary action in life prior to the story was weeping and mourning over her dead husband. ?Yes, really! Almost a year has passed since you?ve gone out of the house!?(1096) was said in the early part of the play by Luka. After, Smirnov challenges her to a gunfight for insulting him. Popov brings out her husband's pistols to show her tough side ?I will not rest until I?ve put a hole through your forehead? that forehead I hate so much? (1103). Mr. Smirnov near the end of the play exclaimed in the opposite tone, ?If she fights I?ll shoot her like a chicken!?. Mrs. Popov is almost in a gunfight with Mr. Smirnov. However, Smirnov at this point realizes that he has fallen in love with this tough and brave woman. These actions clearly show how love is changing Mrs. Popov?s actions.
The bear is a farce, a dramatic form designed to give the audience entertainment and amusement. This is usually achieved by creating discrepancies among the characters and the audiences so that audiences may feel something strange and laugh. Although the conflict of this play is quite plain and straightforward, the audience will not feel bored as such technique is applied smartly throughout the story. In this play, utilizing human?s complicated feelings and emotions that may be far from their control creates discrepancies. However, it makes a good comedy since events may take part suddenly which are out of the expectation of the audiences. By providing no clues for the subsequence of the story, the effect of comedy is enhanced significantly.
The Bear is a drama that has a message that love can sometimes come from an odd turn of events. Chekhov achieved success as a playwright through a set of plays that describe the nature of powerful emotions. This is one of Chekhov?s very short plays, an unquestionable comedy, as opposed to the author?s full length dramas which he considered comedies, but which are certainly of a more serious type that sustains the humor. The Bear condenses so much of human nature into this short, comical, strange, and successful act. Chekhov demonstrates how close is the relationship between anger and passion, and how strange and wonderful is the human condition from hate to love.