Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Bear - Anton Chekhov

Popova is still in deep mourning seven months after her husband's death. She stays alone at her country house, refusing to go out or to see anybody. Suddenly, Smirnov arrives and rudely insists on seeing her. Popova's late husband owed him 1200 roubles and he demands the debt be paid at once because his creditors are after him.

Popova delays. Smirnov insists, makes light of Popova's mourning, and refuses to leave. They angrily vie with one another: "Men are rude and inconstant!" "Women are fickle and manipulative!" (It turns out that Popova's husband was actually a liar and cheat, but she remains true to his memory just to show him how faithful a woman can be.)

Smirnov challenges her to a duel for insulting him and Popova brings out her husband's pistols. At this point Smirnov realizes that he has fallen in love with this tough, spunky woman. Popova vacillates for a moment, but they end up in each other's arms. (All this in 12 pages.)


This piece of literature is a short play write written by Anton Chekhov in 1900. I had to read this for my English class and immediately fell in love with it. I was surprised at how much I liked this story! It is really just your typical love story, however, it probably wasn't so typical in that time.

I truly loved this story, even thou I still can't figure out why. Maybe I'm just a sucker for older stories, classics, and play-writes. lol :)

Has anyone else read this story?



Hope. said...

Your English class is so much harder than mine even though we both have it online. In the same hour. lol.

I might pick this up sometime. I'm not sure. I'm not big on classics. :)


Katie said...

It only looks harder because your english class is too easy! :) Still working on my english.

Well we will definitly read some classics together then! Im thinking pride and prejudice. :)


jheffrey23 said...

honestly i did like the story but,,,i wonder why the title of this story is the bear???
what you think????
tats all...
if you know why pls. reply!!!
and yopu can wemail it to me also....

oleg said...

The title is "The Bear" because in Russian the word "bear" has two meanings. First-an animal, second-rather rude, clumsy, awkward man. Not a bad word, indeed. Another title of this wonderful play by Checkov is "The Boor". Thank you for comments, I adore this play.