A theme for "The Bet" by Anton Chekhov
“The Bet” emphasizes the idea that the life of a human is far more valuable than money.
In the short story “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov a wager is made that changes the lives of two people. The story begins with a heated argument at a party over which is more moral, capital punishment or life imprisonment. The host of the party, the banker, believes that capital punishment is more moral because the death sentence kills the victim quicker rather than dragging out the process. A twenty-five year old lawyer at the party responds, saying, he would choose the life sentence to be more moral because any life is better than no life at all. Hearing this response causes the banker to bet the lawyer two million dollars that the lawyer can not last five years in solitary confinement. The lawyer accepts the wager, but pushes it to fifteen years in hopes of making a point. The terms of the wager are that the lawyer is to live in solitary confinement without any human interaction for fifteen years, but is granted any books, music, wine, etc. that he wants. As the fifteen years pass, the lawyer discovers the significance of human life. Anton Chekhov’s “The Bet” emphasizes the idea that the life of a human is far more valuable than money.
Summary of the Bet by Anton Chekhov (Synopsis)
The story opens on a dark autumn night. An old banker was quite restless in his study recollecting a party that happened fifteen years ago. In that party, the guests were having a discussion regarding capital punishment. While most of the guest disapproved of the death penalty, the banker was of the opinion that if capital punishment kills a man at once, life-long imprisonment kills him slowly. Then a young lawyer of twenty-five years of age, who was among the guests was asked to comment, who preferred life imprisonment to the death penalty because he felt that living anyhow is better than not at all. The...