Chekhov the bet. The Bet by Anton Chekhov 2019-01-06

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Short Stories: The Bet by Anton Chekhov

chekhov the bet

Nothing could be seen but his back, the hair on his head, and his hands. The next day, watchmen alert the banker of the lawyer's escape, and the banker is unsurprised. He made up his mind to go in. Then after the tenth year, the prisoner sat immovably at the table and read nothing but the Gospel. What is the good of that man's losing fifteen years of his life and my throwing away two millions? Beauties as ethereal as clouds, created by the magic of your poets and geniuses, have visited me at night, and have whispered in my ears wonderful tales that have set my brain in a whirl. Now, the fifteen years is almost up and the banker is worried that if he has to pay the two million large, he'll be bankrupt.

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The Bet (short story)

chekhov the bet

Can it prove that the death penalty is better or worse than imprisonment for life? On my part it was the caprice of a pampered man, and on his part simple greed for money. In your books I have climbed to the peaks of Elburz and Mont Blanc, and from there I have seen the sun rise and have watched it at evening flood the sky, the ocean, and the mountain-tops with gold and crimson. In the last two years of his confinement the prisoner read an immense quantity of books quite indiscriminately. In the meantime, the banker's fortune declines and he realizes that if he loses, paying off the bet will leave him bankrupt. Sometimes at night he would sit down to write; he would spend hours writing, and in the morning tear up all that he had written.

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The Bet Summary

chekhov the bet

The majority of the guests, among whom were many journalists and intellectual men, disapproved of the death penalty. Wine, he wrote, excites the desires, and desires are the worst foes of the prisoner; and besides, nothing could be more dreary than drinking good wine and seeing no one. Oh, if you only knew what unearthly happiness my soul feels now from being able to understand them! Five minutes passed and the prisoner did not once stir. He finds that his prisoner is asleep at his desk, looking much older and careworn than he ever imagined him to be. Capital punishment kills a man at once, but lifelong imprisonment kills him slowly. In the first year the books he sent for were principally of a light character; novels with a complicated love plot, sensational and fantastic stories, and so on. With a clear conscience I tell you, as before God, who beholds me, that I despise freedom and life and health, and all that in your books is called the good things of the world.

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Short Stories: The Bet by Anton Chekhov

chekhov the bet

It has not the right to take away what it cannot restore when it wants to. At one time he was busy with the natural sciences, then he would ask for Byron or Shakespeare. To this end he elects to renounce the reward of the bet. I am sorry for you. His hair was already streaked with silver, and seeing his emaciated, aged-looking face, no one would have believed that he was only forty. There was a bedstead with no bedding on it, and in the corner there was a dark cast-iron stove. That shot will show me that my efforts have not been thrown away.

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The Bet (short story)

chekhov the bet

Next morning the watchmen ran in with pale faces, and told him they had seen the man who lived in the lodge climb out of the window into the garden, go to the gate, and disappear. He did not read books. So the bet also demonstrates the selfishness of man and youth. I'll bet you two millions you wouldn't stay in solitary confinement for five years. The man spends his time in confinement reading books, writing, playing piano, studying, drinking wine, and educating himself.


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The Bet The Bet Summary and Analysis

chekhov the bet

But let us first read what he has written here. I am sorry for you. And this wild, senseless bet was carried out! Next morning the watchmen ran in with pale faces, and told him they had seen the man who lived in the lodge climb out of the window into the garden, go to the gate, and disappear. The banker strained his eyes, but could see neither the earth nor the white statues, nor the lodge, nor the trees. The character changes drastically from the beginning of the story when he seems to be very free handed as he easily bets to pay two million and later, his lack of wealth drives him to dishonesty and plan for murder. Had the lawyer been older and wiser, he would never have decided so impulsively to go through with this bet.

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“The Bet” by Anton Chekhov

chekhov the bet

The one means of being saved from bankruptcy and disgrace is the death of that man! In order to do this, he sets up a bet that would likely never take place in real life. He was sitting at the table. I have heard the singing of the sirens, and the strains of the shepherds' pipes; I have touched the wings of comely devils who flew down to converse with me of God. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. To avoid arousing unnecessary talk, he took from the table the writing in which the millions were renounced, and when he got home locked it up in the fireproof safe.

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“The Bet” by Anton Chekhov

chekhov the bet

In the second year the piano was silent in the lodge, and the prisoner asked only for the classics. There were notes in which he demanded at the same time books on chemistry, and a manual of medicine, and a novel, and some treatise on philosophy or theology. In the second year the piano was silent in the lodge, and the prisoner asked only for the classics. His character of being a person with no interest in materialistic luxury is reflected when he renounces the 2 million and settles with just having proved his point. The banker tapped at the window with his finger, and the prisoner made no movement whatever in response. Then after the tenth year, the prisoner sat immovably at the table and read nothing but the Gospel.

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