How is shooting a chicken different from shooting anything else?

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Smirnov: "I'll shoot her like a chicken!  But what a woman! ... What a woman!  How she blushed, her eyes shone... she accepted my challenge!  To tell the truth, it was the first time in my life I've seen a woman like that..." (390).
            Anton Chekhov, The Bear: A Joke in One Act

This play was rather funny.  However, I think I would have liked it more if it were longer.  Obviously that would defeat the whole idea of it being a "Joke in One Act," but I would be able to appreciate it more.  

It's a common convention in literature for two people destined to be together at the end to hate each other at the beginning.  Such a relationship provides more drama and entertainment for the reader, therefore making it a successful convention that really never gets old.  However, having it happen in the span of eight pages made their relationship less believable.  I suppose that's acceptable in comedy, though, especially in the case of this play since Chekhov established it as a joke.

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4 Comments

Kayla Lesko said:

Wow, I blogged about the same thing!

It's a very overdone and annoying convention.

Aja Hannah said:

But it's true. Some romances start that way. I hate Romeo and Juliet (how they fall in love so quickly), but I actually don't hate this one. I think the man was more pushed to say he was in love so the women would take him seriously. Perhaps he was infatuted and, correct me if I'm wrong, but the woman never said she was in love back. She probably just enjoyed the comfort.

Kayla - I'll have to check out your blog, then.

Aja - It's definitely true. I prefer that kind of story and I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic at times, so the idea of finding love where you least expect it is a nice notion to me. I just wish the play were longer. It's not a big deal, but I would have enjoyed it much more if it were longer.

Dianna Griffin said:

I guess he says he'll shoot her like a chicken because he thinks that chickens are insignificant. I mean, I eat chickens, but I don't eat people. However, I wouldn't want to be the one that kills the chicken.

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