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The Bear: A Joke in One Act

ISBN13: 9780887343179
ISBN: 0887343171
Binding: Paperback
List Price: $6.0
Publisher: Players Pr
Published Date:
Pages: 20
Average Goodreads rating: 3.58/5 (583 ratings)

Although The Bear is one of Anton Chekhov’s lesser-known plays, this “Farce in One-Act," as it is subtitled, is an excellent representative of its genre. 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 ilk. Written, published, and performed in 1888, Chekhov’s play reflects on and pokes fun of liberal discourses in mid- to late-nineteenth-century Russia, in particular those concerned with "The Woman Question." The Bear is engaged in dialogue with Chekhov's contemporaries and earlier Russian literature on women’s emancipation, such as Ivan Turgenev’s On the Eve (1859) and Nikolai Chernyshevsky’s What Is to Be Done? (1863). The play condenses so much of human nature into this short, comical, bizarre, and ultimately triumphant act. Chekhov demonstrates how close (at times) is the relationship between anger and passion, and how strange and wonderful is the human condition.