top-rated free essay

the bet

By hayalperistimsi Nov 22, 2013 599 Words
 ELL 207 Short Story Course
Student’s Name:Date of Presentation:
Story: The Bet
Author: Anton Chekhov (1860 -1904)
Central Character (Protagonist) : The Lawyer and the Banker (no names – generalization? You may mention this kind of ideas in your presentation) Setting: 1870s – 1880s in the banker’s mansion
Narrator : Third Person, Limited Omniscience
Events in Summary (Plot) :
“Perhaps it was the sweetness of their lives that made the ancient Egyptians so obsessed with death." by Larry Gonick .... (You may find some qoutes to summarize the banker’s fear of death, for instance.) The banker and the young lawyer argues whether capital punishment or life imprisonment is a worse punishment and deterent. This discussion leads to a bet in which the banker stakes his two millions and the lawyer 15 years of his “sweet” life. The lawyer agrees to spend that long in a prison-like “lodge” in the banker’s garden under strict conditions such as no human contact, no travel etc. He is allowed to write letters, to drink wine and smoke, to play music, and to read, though. Both sides keep their promises to a very high extent during the banker’s “self-imposed imprisonment” and both characters change. Especially the changes the “prisoner” undergoes are remarkable. Shockingly, the lawyer prisoner breaks the compact 5 hours before the time fixed.

Tone : Awe at the changes in the lawyer; partially ironic
Style : Anton Checkhov –master of short stories, mastery is obvious. Perfect metaphors, adroitly built plot and an end that blows your mind. Irony : his imprisonment was in vain!? Who is the real winner? Theme: gambling is evil; fear of death and loathing for living

Symbols : No significant symbols other than “money” which symbolizes power and something very important that has to be had. Wine? Books? (sleep on the two minor symbols)

Select Quotes :
His reading suggested a man swimming in the sea among the wreckage of his ship, and trying to save his life by greedily clutching first at one spar and then at another. (paraphrase: in his final years, the vessel on which he relied has disintegrated and he is left to desperately try one plank after another in search of one that will bear him up above the waves.) The geniuses of all ages and of all lands speak different languages, but the same flame burns in them all. Oh, if you only knew what unearthly happiness my soul feels now from being able to understand them!" Then after the tenth year, the prisoner sat immovably at the table and read nothing but the Gospel. It seemed strange to the banker that a man who in four years had mastered six hundred learned volumes should waste nearly a year over one thin book easy of comprehension. Theology and histories of religion followed the Gospels. I despise wisdom and the blessings of this world. It is all worthless, fleeting, illusory, and deceptive, like a mirage. You may be proud, wise, and fine, but death will wipe you off the face of the earth "You have lost your reason and taken the wrong path. You have taken lies for truth, and hideousness for beauty. You would marvel if, owing to strange events of some sorts, frogs and lizards suddenly grew on apple and orange trees instead of fruit, or if roses began to smell like a sweating horse; so I marvel at you who exchange heaven for earth. I don't want to understand you.

Evaluation : All in all, I think this story is …
I find it ..
I wish ..
I am going to ..
This is the …. story I’ve ever …

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • "The Bet" by Anton Chekhov: Character Analysis of the Prisoner

    ...Wow! 7,883,995 minutes sure is a long time to spend in solitary confinement, and then not even hang around for the final five minutes to reclaim your prize. The title of this story is "The Bet", and is written by Anton Chekhov. In this story, a man takes part in a bet for two million dollars, under the conditions that he stays in solitary confin...

    Read More
  • The Bet

    ...Analysis on The Bet by Anton Chekhov This short story portrays a situation in which the banker and lawyer wages a bet based on the idea of the death penalty and life imprisonment. The banker puts on the line two million dollars compared to the lawyer's life worth of fifteen years. For the next fifteen years the lawyer was placed in the banker's...

    Read More
  • the bet

    ..."The Bet" is an 1889 short story by Anton Chekhov about a banker and a young lawyer who make a bet with each other about whether the death penalty is better or worse than life in prison. The story has a twist ending. As the story opens, the banker is recalling the occasion of the bet fifteen years before. Guests at a party that he was hosting...

    Read More
  • The Bet

    ...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 hous...

    Read More
  • The Bet

    ...In the story “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov, the lawyer and the banker make a bet, which is better solution capital punishment or life imprisonment. The banker then bet two million dollars that the lawyer would not stand five years in a room alone with no means of communication except through a small hole, but the lawyer said he would stay in th...

    Read More
  • The Bet and Anthem

    ... Anton Chekhov was born in Russia in 1860. He originally published his short story, “The Bet,” in 1889. Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, and playwright born in 1905. She published her novel, “Anthem,” in 1938. Both stories explore the reasoning of the human beings and the importance of the individual within societ...

    Read More
  • The Bet by Anton Chekhov

    ...Anton Chekhov The Bet It was a dark autumn night. The old banker was walking up and down his study and remembering how, fifteen years before, he had given a party one autumn evening. There had been many clever men there, and there had been interesting conversations. Among other things they had talked of capital punishment. The majority of ...

    Read More
  • The Bet Essay

    ... “The Bet” Themes In the story “The Bet,” a bet that will change two men’s lives was made. An argument with the topic of capital punishment leads to the bet and the outcome of “The Bet” portrays various themes. “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov emphasizes the idea that human life is far more valuable than money, the idea of finding...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.