The Real Joke

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Not to go too in depth on this since I'll be givin my presentation on it tomorrow, but The Bear by Anton Chekhov deals with two people who hate each other and then eventually fall in love. I think the best part of the story is that there is an overall funny moment that takes place, when Smirnov finally realizes how much he truly likes Mrs. Popov. It's interesting that Smirnov doesn't realize he likes Mrs. Popov until page 390, but I think he really started liking her back on page 388, when they start talking about the differences between the sexes.

However the best moment and the true joke, I feel, is really when she says, "it's no mystery to you that he was often mean to me, cruel...and even unfaithful, but I shall remain true to the grave and show him I know how to love. There, beyond the grave, he will see me as I was before his death..." (385). The fact that one woman can still love a man who was so mean to her even after his death is a bit crazy to me. Still the best part is probably that the first man that comes along is also the one she ends up falling for.

My article that I'll be using is by Yuan Yuan called Representation and Absence: Paradoxical Structure in Postmodern Texts which basically talks about the abscence of certain parts of a story and how this can hinder the text. This paper actually goes against what I'm going to talk about. Therefore, I'll talk about why Chekhov does a wonderful job of using all of the elements he presents to make the jokes and overall inform the reader behind why the jokes are funny.

After looking at what we have to do for this assignment, I guess I'll say a little bit about how my research for this went. Basically, I looked up all the articles that may be related to Chekhov, like Carissa did, and found nothing. From there I knew I kind of wanted to talk about the structure of the story, which I had another hard time finding something that even semi-related to my topic. I ended up just picking one that kind of related, but it is a little bit of stretch to connect it. If I was writing a paper based on this source, I would not use it as an ideal source, but maybe something to counter evidence my original thesis.

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