- by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
- The Bet Summary and Analysis of The Bet
- Best Russian Short Stories/The Bet
- The Bet () - IMDb
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by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
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The Bet Summary and Analysis of The Bet
W hy's T his F unny? He begins with languages and other related subjects. Then, a mix of science, literature, philosophy and other seemingly random subjects. He ends up reading some six hundred volumes in the course of four years. Then, the Gospel followed by theology and histories of religion. In the final two years, the imprisoned lawyer read immensely on chemistry, medicine and philosophy, and sometimes works of Byron or Shakespeare. In the meantime, the banker's fortune declines and he realizes that if he loses, paying off the bet will leave him bankrupt.
The day before the fifteen-year period concludes, the banker resolves to kill the lawyer so as to not owe him the money. On his way to do so, however, the banker finds a note written by the lawyer. The note declares that in his time in confinement he has learned to despise material goods as fleeting things, and he believes that divine salvation is worth more than money.
To this end he elects to renounce the reward of the bet. The banker was moved and shocked to his bones after reading the note, kisses the strange man on the head and leaves the lodge weeping, relieved not to have to kill anyone. The prison warden later reports that the lawyer has left the guest house on the day before the fifteen year mark, thus losing the bet. The banker takes the note and locks it in his safe.
View all 5 comments. A wealthy banker throws a party; there's lots of intellectual discussion that winds up focusing on the question: Is a life sentence of solitary co "The Bet" has been popping up in a few of my GR friends' feeds in the past few days, and I love getting my historic Russian author doses in short story form maybe one of these days I'll take on a full-length classic Russian novel, but that day has not yet arrived.
A wealthy banker throws a party; there's lots of intellectual discussion that winds up focusing on the question: Is a life sentence of solitary confinement really less cruel than capital punishment? A brash young lawyer argues that imprisonment is better than death, and he and the banker end up making a wild bet: the banker will set up a place of solitary confinement on his estate, and the lawyer will submit to it for 15 years.
If the lawyer can stick it out for the full 15 years - not a moment less - the banker will pay him two million. It was decided that the lawyer must undergo his imprisonment under the strictest observation, in a garden-wing of the banker's house. It was agreed that during the period he would be deprived of the right to cross the threshold, to see living people, to hear human voices, and to receive letters and newspapers.
He was permitted to have a musical instrument, to read books, to write letters, to drink wine and smoke tobacco. By the agreement he could communicate, but only in silence, with the outside world through a little window specially constructed for this purpose. Everything necessary, books, music, wine, he could receive in any quantity by sending a note through the window. The plot is straightforward, but the ideas and prose elevate it to something that is well worth reading and pondering. It's a different, thoughtful kind of tale with one major twist to it that I didn't see coming. View all 13 comments.
Sep 15, Ammara Abid rated it it was amazing. Terribly terrific. One of the remarkable short story I have ever read. Precisely, the best 10 minutes read with long lasting impact. Execution kills instantly, life-imprisonment kills by degrees. Who is the more humane executioner, one who kills you in a few seconds or one who draws the life out of you incessantly, for years?
It's better to live somehow than not to live at all. View 1 comment. Jun 21, Piyangie rated it really liked it Shelves: russian-lit , short-story-novella. This is a very thought provoking short story. The apparent theme is, which punishment is better? The capital punishment or life imprisonment. The lawyer thinks that while both are immoral, life imprisonment is the better punishment mode, as it allows the person to live.
The banker disagrees saying that capital punishment is better, as it mercifully kills the person instantly rather than killing him over the years. They make a bet whereas the lawyer would undergo voluntary imprisonment for fiftee This is a very thought provoking short story. They make a bet whereas the lawyer would undergo voluntary imprisonment for fifteen years at the end of which the banker is to pay him two million. Fifteen years passes and the bet ends in a way unimaginable by both parties.
While the main focus is on the mode of punishment for the wrong doers, Chekhov throws in philosophy in the second part of the story. The imprisoned lawyer studies many subjects thoroughly and becomes a sort of virtuoso. He gains "wisdom" through his learning and sees the world in a different light. The banker on the other hand, living the delusional life slowly loses his wealth and becomes corrupt in mind. There is a huge amount of irony here.
The imprisoned man reflects on worldly subjects and casts them off as irrelevant for life's happiness while the free man is weighed down with worldly subjects believing that they are the necessities in life, and is living himself in a prison unawares of being living in one. This is my first attempt at Chekhov and I'm really impressed with his writing and thinking.
I really want to explore him further in the future. View all 6 comments. Oct 02, Erin rated it liked it Shelves: audio-books , short-stories. Audio narrated by Walter Zimmerman 19 minutes Execution or imprisonment? Two characters -the lawyer and the banker. Anton Chekhov, like many of his Russian contemporaries knew how to get right into the very core of a man's soul. Philosophical examination that still seems timely today. I took me 10 minutes to read this, and I might have cried. There are a few paragraphs at the end that explain exactly how I feel about books.
Best Russian Short Stories/The Bet
Feb 03, Kimber Silver rated it it was amazing Shelves: classic , favorites , short-stories. During a party held by a wealthy banker, the question of capital punishment is broached. Is it better to have your life taken a day at a time in confinement, or die all at once by execution?
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One particular young man insists it is better to live a little than not at all and upon this declaration, he is offered a large sum of cash to prove the level of his conviction. The wager states that he must live confined entirely for fifteen years. With dreams of wealth and vindication shining at the end of During a party held by a wealthy banker, the question of capital punishment is broached. With dreams of wealth and vindication shining at the end of his incarceration, the challenge is accepted and the dance begins. The Bet is a concise but compelling read.
The Bet () - IMDb
I recommend it! This story does, in fact, linger long after you have read it! It takes a mere few minutes to read and absorb. I really like the fact that my perceived notion to how this story would end was incorrect, I so did not see that ending coming at all. It's a really well written story about the moral issue aforestated in blurb and about the bet between two gentlemen and the aftereffects of that bet. A quick read but definitely not for me!
I read outside my comfort zone, so that was a win for me. Bu Wow!! But I much prefer adventure, a little mystery, psy-trillers and lots of spicy passion kind of reads. Thanks, Kevin - I will let myself out of that mouse-trap now. View 2 comments. Dec 29, Linda rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , short-stories-and-collections. This has been the year of short stories for me.
I have found several amazing collections. My thanks to Kevin Ansbro for guiding me to this gem of a story. Not to be missed! And it is free! View all 7 comments. 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 as though you were no more than mice burrowing under the floor, and your posterity, your history, your immortal geniuses will burn or freeze together with the earthly globe. You have taken lies for truth, and hideous "And I despise your books, I despise wisdom and the blessings of this world.