– The Bear Essay, Research Paper
The Bear is a drama written by Anton Chekhov. It can be regarded as a comedy since it is to give 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, audience will not feel bored as such technique is applied smartly throughout the story. The theme is about a queerish beginning of love between Mrs. Popov, who views herself as a faithful, loyal and steadfast widow, and Smirnov, a loaner of Mrs. Popov s husband who are interested in money and women issues. In this play, discrepancies are created by utilizing human s sophisticated feelings and emotions that may be far from their control. So the characters may act unreasonably which you may not understand. However, it does a good work for 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. Actually, unpredictable result can give audiences surprise.
There are a lot of unexpectednesses in this play that may be quite contrary to the preference of value of the audiences. The unreasonable actions and behaviors of the characters may entail amusement of the audience. In Scene 1, Mrs. Popov is very sad about her husband s death. She says, My life s finished. He lies in his grave, I ve buried myself inside these four walls Xwe re both dead (1322) It seems that the couples love each other very much that Mrs. Popov wants to share death with her husband. Audiences may expect a good relationship between her and her husband. In fact, it is not the real situation. Her husband was actually cruel and K unfaithful (1323) to her when he was alive. It is no reason for Mrs. Popov to owe her loyalty to her husband. She can by no means take revenge from her dead husband. It is also nonsensical for her to take revenge in this way as her husband will not be ashamed of himself in the heaven. Nevertheless, her ridiculous act can give audience a deep impression.
The behaviour of the servant, Luke, is also amazing. After the clash of money issue, Smirnov decides to stay until he can get his money back. Being an unwelcome money collector, he orders the servant to bring [him] some kvass or water (1325). In fact, the host of the house is Mrs. Popov who wants Smirnov to leave. Without anything to eat or drink, Smirnov may leave. However, the servant does bring him some water. It is quite strange to treat an unwanted guest by satisfying his demand. Besides, when Luke gives him a glass of vadka, he shouts at him angrily. Luke is somehow frightened as he dares not to say anything that opposes him. He just say, I, er, it s all right, I just X (1326) There is no reason for him to be so fearful; there is also no reason for him to answer his request. His funny reactions make the story quite comical.
Another interesting point is that being a money collector, it is expected that Smirnov will only care about money issue. Nevertheless, he shifts his mind suddenly from money to woman. He cares about how Mrs Popov sees him. He recks about his appearance: dust over [him], [his] boots dirty, unwashed, hair unbrushed, straw on [his] waistcoat . [He] bet the little woman [takes] him for a burglar. (1326) He wants to catch the attention of the lady. It is quite inexplicable why he has such feeling. It is only his internal thought that comes out suddenly. It gives audiences a great surprise.
After the battle of money, the two debate about who is more faithful to love among men and women. Both of them insist on their own view, so they cannot make a general consensus. They try to insult each other and Smirnov challenges Mrs. Popov with a duel. She accepts it with rage. After then, Smirnov feels that he like her Xonly because she accepts the duel. It is not expected as Mrs. Popov insults him unceasingly. However, he does not mind. Conversely, he appreciates her as a really red-hot bit of stuff, a regular pistol-packing little spitfire (1330). It is really unexpected that he likes this type of woman. It is quite unreasonable for him to appreciate a woman who conflicts with him. He suddenly says that he likes this type of woman. It is astonishing to the audiences who have no clues to figure it out but it does contribute to the ending of the story.
Besides, it is also interesting for Mrs. Popov to accept Smirnov s challenge. She has said, I ll enjoy putting a bullet through that thick skull, damn your infernal cheeks! It is expected Mrs. Popov is a good shooter and so she is very confident of the duel. However, it is strange that she even does not know how to use a pistol. How can she be so confident without any experience in shooting? It is quite absurd for Mrs. Popov to accept the duel. In addition, she has to ask her opponent for help. It is a paradox that she has such demand on the one she will fight with. It is also nonsense for Smirnov to teach her how to shoot himself in the duel.
The climax is at the time when Smirnov expresses his love towards Mrs. Popov. Although Mrs. Popov keeps on saying, I loathe you! and We ll shoot it out! (1331), it is not her actual feeling. Since when Smirnov decides to go, she says, Just a moment. (1332) Apparently, Mrs. Povpov does not want him to leave. It is quite contradictory to what she wants. It is her who wants to get rid of Smirnov. It is for no reason for her to tell him to stay. Also, Smirnov decides to leave without taking anything. He cares about the money business very much at the beginning of the story but suddenly he changes his mind. It is not because he does not need the money anymore. It is his unexplainable feeling of love towards Mrs. Popov overrides his urgent need of money.
Human are complicated creatures. Their feelings always fluctuate in the way that is beyond the control of themselves. So the characters behave quite unreasonably in which feelings control their actions. Not withstanding that it is a good way of aggravating the effect of comedy, it is true that people do not know what they are doing sometimes.