Write a note on the use of humour and irony in The Bear by Chekhov.

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Much of the humor and irony in "The Bear" comes from how the characters appear to be so enslaved by their emotions despite their loud protestations to the contrary. Both Smirnov and Popova delude themselves into thinking that they can control their emotions, yet it's perfectly clear that they are chronically incapable of doing so. They both claim that they're effectively finished with love, yet ironically they end up falling for each other at the end. Smirnov claims to ignore women as much as he can, yet—also ironically—he's completely captivated by Popova's spirited reaction to his challenging her to a duel. He also finds himself irresistibly drawn to her dimpled cheeks. For her part, Popova claims that she died when her late husband passed away, but it's clear that she still wants to love and to be loved.

Of the two, Smirnov's emotions seem the most volatile...

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