The Bear by Anton Chekhov Part 2 (Let's Learn Series #27 - English Literature)

in #steemiteducation4 years ago (edited)

  Hello everyone, here's the Part 2 of the The Bear by Anton Chekhov. You can check Part 1 here. 


We are jumping to a longer distance now. So in the middle things, Smirnov still keeps shouting and so does Popova. And we get to know that Smirnov has great experiences with women. He knows a lot of things about women, their tricks and many things. According to Smirnov, women are the ones who cheat, unfaithful, insincere and everything. But then according Popova's experiences, it's men who are unfaithful, insincere and everything. She has experienced how her late husband Nicolai cheated her. 

Then they go back to the money matter. Popova further tells that she's got no money but Smirnov still won't believe her. 

[Clenches her fists and stamps her foot] You're a boor! A coarse bear! A Bourbon! A monster! 

Here, Popova forgets that she's playing the role of a decent woman. She loses her temper and spills these words at Smirnov. 

Then they get ready for a fight with pistols. Earlier, they fought with words but now, they're gonna fight physically. It's very humorous and ironical when Popova asks her opponent to teach her how to shoot. 

Little by little Smirnov gets to like Popova.

I absolutely like her! Absolutely! Even though her cheeks are dimpled, I like her! I'm almost ready to let the debt go... and I'm not angry any longer.... Wonderful woman! 

He's having an affair on Popova. .He's even ready to let the debt in the matter of the affair. 

[Examining the pistols] You see, there are several sorts of pistols.... There are Mortimer pistols, specially made for duels, they fire a percussion-cap. These are Smith and Wesson revolvers, triple action, with extractors.... These are excellent pistols. They can't cost less than ninety roubles the pair.... You must hold the revolver like this.... [Aside] Her eyes, her eyes! What an inspiring woman!

Here Smirnov gives Popova a long lecture about pistols because Smirnov don't wants to fight her anymore. 

Yes, like this.... Then you cock the trigger, and take aim like this.... Put your head back a little! Hold your arm out properly.... Like that.... Then you press this thing with your finger—and that's all. The great thing is to keep cool and aim steadily.... Try not to jerk your arm. 

Now Smirnov is perfecting Popova's body. The words, "The great thing is to keep cool and aim steadily.... " is said both to Popova and also to himself . He knows that he's getting off the track and he wants himself to stay steady. 

Because... because... it's my affair. 

Here, Smirnov is stuck in his words. Earlier, he said everything straight forward but here his power and everything else is disappeared in front of love. 

Because... because you... because I like you.

Here also, Smirnov is stuck. He's acting against the behaviours of an army officer in front of love.

[Laughs] He likes me! He dares to say that he likes me! [Points to the door] That's the way.

Here, Popova is surprised and full of sarcasm. She points to the door to say both that she wants to go out and fight and also to say that she doesn't accept Smirnov's love. But at this point, Smirnov's love has developed. 

Fire, then! You can't understand what happiness it would be to die before those beautiful eyes, to be shot by a revolver held in that little, velvet hand.... I'm out of my senses! Think, and make up your mind at once, because if I go out we shall never see each other again! Decide now.... I am a landowner, of respectable character, have an income of ten thousand a year. I can put a bullet through a coin tossed into the air as it comes down.... I own some fine horses.... Will you be my wife? 

Smirnov is ready to sacrifice his life for the sake of Popova. He wants Popova to take a fast decision. Then he tells all his qualifications to be Popova's husband. He's some kinda like blowing his own trumpet. 

I'm off my head, I'm in love like a boy, like a fool! [Snatches her hand, she screams with pain] I love you! [Kneels] I love you as I've never loved before! I've refused twelve women, nine have refused me, but I never loved one of them as I love you.... I'm weak, I'm wax, I've melted.... I'm on my knees like a fool, offering you my hand.... Shame, shame! I haven't been in love for five years, I'd taken a vow, and now all of a sudden I'm in love, like a fish out of water! I offer you my hand. Yes or no? You don't want me? Very well! [Gets up and quickly goes to the door.] 

Here Smirnov is so deeply in love. He doesn't know how to control himself. He had vowed to himself earlier not to get in relationships with women but here, he's helpless. Then due to Popova's lack of reaction, he goes to the door.


This is the turning point of the drama. Popova doesn't wants to lose Smirnov. She's having feelings about Smirnov to some extent.

Nothing, go away.... No, stop.... No, go away, go away! I hate you! Or no.... Don't go away! Oh, if you knew how angry I am, how angry I am! [Throws her revolver on the table] My fingers have swollen because of all this.... [Tears her handkerchief in temper]What are you waiting for? Get out! 

Popova is unable of deciding what to do. She knows that if Smirnov leaves the house, she'd never see him again. With the throwing of the revolver, it tells us that Popova doesn't hate Smirnov anymore; she doesn't want to fight him and also the anger, dislike towards Smirnov is also thrown away. But she doesn't wants to express her feelings so she lies that her hand is hurting. This is a common nature of women.

Then they little by little gets closer and .... (You know what happens. )

[Lowering her eyes] Luka, tell them in the stables that Toby isn't to have any oats at all to-day.

Earlier, Popova badly wanted to give extra oats to Toby in account of her late husband but here, she doesn't wants to give Toby any oats. Here, all the connections between Popova and Nicolai had come to a full stop. 

This is the end of the drama, 'The Bear' . It's a wonderful story with humour, romanticism, emotional scenes. It was a lot of fun learning the literary facts about this in the classroom. 

While doing the lesson, one of my friends was asked to do the role of Smirnov. (just to speak without actions) 

In the statement, " I'll bring her down like a chicken! I'm not a little boy or a sentimental puppy; I don't care about this "softer sex." she was talking very dramatically and she said "I'll take her down like a KITCHEN" instead of 'chicken'.

 Me and my friends were sitting in the last row of the class. Me, my two friends who were sitting in my left and right were feeling very sleepy. We tried spraying water on our face but nothing helped us. We were almost asleep until she said "I'll take her down like a kitchen". We all burst out with laughter and even the one who said it was laughing taping her desk. My hand was paining after all the tapping and patting and hitting I did to my desk and to my friends' bodies while I was laughing. The whole class was laughing so hard. 

And you know what? After then, no one was feeling sleepy anymore. We were so active and were smiling remembering it again and again. (But we shouldn't laugh at others like that but what to do? Even the one who said it also laughed!". 

So I think that you enjoyed the drama as much as I did and also learned some literary things about it in my post. If you have something to add here or something that you feel that I'm wrong at any point or if you have any questions, please leave a comment. 

Also don't forget to tell me what you feel about this drama and also my points.


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Great analysis of this well written Short play! I enjoyed it too and I even learned something from your post about the symbolism that I didn't catch before.

the only thing I would point out is that you said, his late husband, 2 times but really it should be, her late husband. that's not as funny as when your classmates said kitchen instead of chicken but I still thought I would mention it to you. 😃

It's always good to read something from you and your sister. I know you're both probably busy with school and your lives but I hope I do see something from both of you again here soon! 👍

Posted using Partiko Android

It's so nice to hear that people learn something from me.

OMG! Well, that's what I get for laughing at others :) I have even changed Popova's gender and that doesn't make any sense. Earlier, I typer 'his' instead of 'her' a couple of times but I noticed them. Thanks a lot Kenny for showing that to me ^^ (I hope that you'll be helped by someone instead of having someone laughing at you... you didn't laugh at me)

Aww, thanks Kenny. It also makes me sad not posting here. I'm covered with piles of books and papers. But I'll try to find some time to be here. Anyway, I'll keep posting continuously from about 11th November :D

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