return The Bear is just one of Anton Chekhov’s lesser-known plays, this “Farce in One-Act," together it is subtitled, is fantastic representative of its genre. Dedicating the play come N. N. Solovtsov, Chekhov is claimed to have actually been influenced by his friend’s boorish power in a French vaudeville. Indeed, v its fast-paced, biting conversation alluding to renowned song lyrics, accidentally damaged furniture, and also exaggerated emotions that quickly turn into their opposite, this three-character drama resembles an plot from a vaudeville. The activity begins at Elena Ivanovna Popova’s house, as she is seen bending over a photo of she dead husband with a look at of “deep mourning” on her face. Her servant, Luka, tries to lull her and also encourage she to ultimately leave the house, 7 months after her husband’s death. Popova stubbornly refuses, citing the pretext the she have to remain forever faithful to she husband—as he had actually never been to her. Through locking it s her up in her house for the rest of her life, she intends to present her deceased husband what true love and faithfulness mean.
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A bell interrupts Popova’s mournful sobbing, and also Gregorii Stepanovich Smirnov enters the scene. Naturally, Popova refuses to see him—after all, she has actually sworn to not check out anyone till her death. Smirnov walk not provide up, claiming the he has come on urgent business. There is no the excessive display of courtesy characteristics of his society class—a authorize of his alleged disillusionment with high-society life and women—Smirnov requirements that Popova return the money fan to that by she late husband. Together she go not have money at the house and is no in the “mood” to resolve financial matters, she speak him to return the day after tomorrow.
angered by she casual response, for this reason “typical” of capricious mrs nature and fickle “female logic,” Smirnov refuses come leave till she repays the debt. Next, they connect in a series of arguments: Smirnov accuses women of dishonesty and of do false claims to equality, while Popova provides the argument personal by call Smirnov a “bear” because that his boorish manners. Smirnov exclaims the if Popova, together a feminist, really wants equality, he will offer it come her—in the kind of a duel. Surprised by her acceptance of his challenge, Smirnov begins to loss in love through this “fire, powder, rocket” that a woman. ~ instructing her on how to usage a pistol, that is required to recognize that he is beginning to choose her. Even then she refuses to ago down native his challenge. This refusal fuels Smirnov’s love for she further, and he provides her his hand. After Popova’s numerous refusals and Smirnov’s dangers to leave, Smirnov passionately kisses her. In ~ this moment, Luka and two other workers enter the step with family weapons, all set to rest up the double by force. Written, published, and also performed in 1888, Chekhov’s play shows on and also pokes fun of liberal discourses in mid- to late-nineteenth-century Russia, in specific those involved with "The mrs Question." The Bear is engaged in dialogue v Chekhov"s contemporaries and also earlier Russian literary works on women’s emancipation, such together Ivan Turgenev’s On the Eve (1859) and Nikolai Chernyshevsky’s What Is to be Done? (1863).
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