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The Bet: By Anton Chekhov
Transcript of The Bet: By Anton Chekhov
Born January 29th, 1860
Studied medicine at the University of Moscow
Began writing humorous sketches to pay for his studies
Earned his medical degree in 1884
Published his first collection of short stories in 1886, at the age of 26
was published soon after, in 1889
He died July 14th, 1904
His stories contained real people and conflicts because he believed "... a lie in a story is hundred times more boring than in a conversation".
Checkov was capable of tradgedy, but comedy was a constant underlying theme for him nevertheless.
Chekhov's best pieces were written in his last years when he was ill with tuberculosis.
The banker plans to kill the man. However, thanks to a letter the man wrote that he planned to renounce the money, the conflict was solved without death.
exposition : at the beginning a group of intelligent men discuss if the death penalty is worse than getting imprisoned for life at a party hosted by the Banker.
Inciting Incident: The Lawyer challenges the banker, saying confinement is better than death. The banker and him
create a bet of two million dollars if the young
man can stay in confinement for 15 years.
Climax: When the banker realizes he cannot pay the two million dollars, he decides he will kill the Lawyer.
Rising Action:The Lawyer is imprisoned
and for 15 years gathers knowledge
while the banker steadily loses money.
falling Action: the banker reads the letter and realizes the lawyer was planning to give up the money anyways and allows him to leave.
Resolution: The lawyer leaves his confinement
5 hours before he receives the 2 million dollars.
The banker locks up the letter the lawyer wrote
so no one will know why he left.
denouement: he lawyer disappears for good to never be seen again, and the banker has to live knowing he is materialistic and loathes his limited capcity of wisdom.
The lack of physical objects in the story makes it difficult to locate any metaphorical meaning within the plot. The few articles that actually make an appearance in the story contain a lot of meaning behind them.
The bet taught the prisoner to accept morality and give up on trying to live and love life
The prisoner claims he cannot drink good wine in confinement because wine brings desires he cannot fufill. Having dreams in isolation is false hope that destroys a person, as it does to him.
Arrogant competition is foolish and never ends in a win but loss on both sides
The conflict begins through a bet
between a banker and an old man
that the young man will stay in
confinement for 15 years. This conflict only begins because the young man believes confinement is better than death.
The young man is placed in confinement and for a while the conflict slows allowing you to see the affects of confinement.
The conflict comes back full force when the banker cannot pay the two million bet that the man will win for being in confinement for 15 years.
A symbol for
within the story. Books are used by the lawyer when he is imprisoned. He takes his 15 year sentence to read and gain knowledge, while the banker recklessly spends his money.
The Lawyer's Letter
The main symbol in the story for salvation. It saves the lawyer's life. When the banker was about ready to kill him, the banker notices the letter. He recalls that the information in the letter conveys that there is no reason for murder.
This character starts as a foolish, quick tempered man, not unlike the banker. However, the 15 years of imprisonment change him into a man of knowledge who craves wisdom while despising earthly pleasures. This is the antagonist of the story.
" He threw himself eargerely in to these studies."
"Wind was racing about the garden, howling and giving the trees no rest."
"...or if roses began to smell like a sweating horse...."
I think Figurative language is important to this story because
Protagonist of the story who is the complete opposite of the Lawyer. He later changes by
the end of the story when he realizes there is
no need to kill the Lawyer.
+ the paragraph in the provided copy of The Bet (contained backstory as well as the quote used in his bio)