" the Bet" by Anton Chekhov

Topics: Meaning of life, Anton Chekhov, Human Pages: 3 (862 words) Published: October 1, 2012
A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted
The story “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov is a unique tale. In this tale the protagonists are a banker and a lawyer. The main cause of this tale is all because of a bet that was made, the banker thinks that the death penalty is more humane that imprisonment for life while the lawyer thinks the opposite. The banker is a man who thinks he is always right, he is very overconfident. Another character trait of the banker is greed. His final character trait is conniving. Obviously, the banker is a selfish man who thinks having money is the meaning of life.

The banker is a very overconfident man. He thinks he knows everything there is to know. Also he thinks very high of himself. The banker struck the table with his fist and shouted “It’s not true! I bet you two million you wouldn’t stay in solitary confinement for fifteen years” (Chekhov 212). The banker has no doubt in his mind that the lawyer will not be able to stay in prison for that long. With the banker being presumptuous at supper he makes jokes toward the Lawyer. “Think better of it, young man, while there is still time. To me two millions are a trifle, but you are losing three or four of the best years of your life. I say three or four, because you won't stay longer. Don't forget either, you unhappy man, that voluntary confinement is a great deal harder to bear than compulsory. The thought that you have the right to step out in liberty at any moment will poison your whole existence in prison. I am sorry for you" (Chekhov 212). The banker is so certain that the lawyer will not be able to complete the fifteen years, he tries to make the lawyer think it was a mistake challenging the bet. Although the banker tried to discourage the lawyer, the lawyer still went through with the bet.

As each year went by the Banker doubted him winning the bet. Over the course of the fifteen years he has wasted part of his wealth in “desperate gambling on stock exchange, wild speculation, and...
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