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How does setting contribute to Mrs. Popov's character in The Bear?

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johnsmith1492 | eNoter

Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:11 AM via web

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How does setting contribute to Mrs. Popov's character in The Bear?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 26, 2012 at 5:54 AM (Answer #1)

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The setting of this farce, as introduced in the first lines of the play, contribute to our understanding of the character through emphasising the extreme response of Mrs. Popov to the death of her husband. Let us remember that the entire play takes place in the drawing room of Mrs. Popov's house, and Mrs. Popov talks about this location as if it were a grave she is choosing to stay in:

He lies in his grave; I've buried myself inside these four walls--we're both dead.

The fact that the action of the play takes place in such an enclosed location serves to emphasise the hyperbolic response of Mrs. Popov to being widowed. This is further augmented by what Luke, her servant, tells her:

Cook's out with the maidpicking fruit, every living creature's happy, and even our cat knows how to enjoy herself--she's parading around the yard trying to pick up a bird or to. But here you are cooped up inside all day like you was in a convent cell--you never have a good time.

A contrast is developed through the setting that serves to emphasise the rather extreme response of Mrs. Popov to her husband's death, that of course focuses us on the farcical element of the play, as she is very swift to relinquish her vow when love enters her life once more.

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