The Bet

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Cindy Zhunio
Ms. Tobin
Honors English II
April 22, 2013
“The Bet”
“The Bet” a story written by Anton Chekhov, is a tale of a two contrasting characters that make a bet that takes an unexpected twist at the end. The lawyer and the banker both make a bet that consists of the lawyer to spend 15 years in imprisoned in the bankers house, if he survives he gets 2 million dollars , if not he loses his freedom for those years with no money what so ever. This bet was made at a party hosted by the banker when these to opponent conversed about a polemical topic-the capital punishment. By using juxtaposition, the act of positioning two contrasting items close together, the author characterized the differences between the two men and their respective paths throughout the story, and the effect it has on Chekhov’s message.

In “The Bet”, The Lawyer and the Banker are developed differently though out the story. Although we saw mostly the banker’s personality¸ we learned the lawyer’s personality as it changes throughout the story. The banker changes very little throughout the entire plot. The Banker started off as a very arrogant wealthy man that was a bigot when it came to his beliefs. But later on as the story moves along he loses his confidence as man things change for him but he still remains prideful throughout. While the Banker slowly changes, the Lawyer progressively changes and becomes “cleverer than all” and slowly gives up on life’s treasures and especially money. “I waive the two million of which I once dreamed as of paradise, and which I now despise” (Chekhov 5). At this point the Lawyer renounces to all the materialist things he clinked to before the bet. As for the banker he is relieved but at the same time “feels contempt for himself” for being so greedy and selfish (Chekhov 5).

The effects of the use of juxtaposition by the author to characterize the characters were very effective to demonstrate the meaning of the story; which is the value human life is...
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