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In The Bear, what does the dialogue reveal about the emotions of Mrs. Popov and Smirnov?

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user100400 | Honors

Posted March 21, 2013 at 3:43 AM via web

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In The Bear, what does the dialogue reveal about the emotions of Mrs. Popov and Smirnov?

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

Posted March 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM (Answer #1)

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It is clear that as the play proceeds Mrs Popov and Smirnov become more and more enraged and hysterical as their emotions completely take control of them and dominate both what they say and what they do, leading them to appear ridiculous, both in front of others and themselves. The prime example of this comes at the climax of the play, when Smirnov realises that he has actually fallen in love with Mrs Popov and wants to marry her:

I'm so fed up with myself! Falling in love like a schoolboy! Kneeling down! It's enough to give you the willies! (Rudely) I love you! Oh, it's just what the doctor ordered, this is!

Note the repeated use of exclamatory phrases to indicate the passion that Smirnov is in and the way that his actions are being ruled completely by his emotions and feelings. Even though he is aware of how ridiculous he appears and how silly what he says is going to sound, it is clear that he has no power to resist. Even though he declares his love "rudely" he nonetheless declares his love and is impotent in the wake of his feelings. Mrs Popov likewise shows the same through her hysterical response:

Go way! You take your hands off me! I, er, hate you! We'll sh-shoot it out!

Note the use of the filler in the utterance "er." Clearly, Mrs Popov is somewhat distracted in her hate for Smirnov, as she is thining of other things. This is also supported by the stutter in "sh-shoot," as although she is overtly responding with anger, her dialogue reveals that her emotions are in symmetry with those of Smirnov. The dialogue of both reveals their deep emotions and how dominated they are by them.

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