The Bet

Published: 2021-09-11 22:30:09
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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 the room for fifteen years and with that, they closed the bet. For fifteen years, the lawyer stayed in the room reading and learning new things and on the last night before the day he retakes his freedom and his two million dollars, the banker tries to sabotage the lawyer by trying to kill him.
However, after reading the letter that the lawyer wrote he stopped and cried. The next morning, five minutes before the bet was over the lawyer ran away and lost the bet and the banker kept the letter that the lawyer wrote and locked it in his safe. The author Anton Chekhov talked about the moral value of human life and the consequences it bears, such as capital punishment and life imprisonment. When the banker and the lawyer argued about what punishment is better, it showed how they do not take the value of human life seriously. This led them to make the bet.
The author then presents a form of foreshadowing. When he wrote life imprisonment, it showed what happens to one of them and it did. The bet was that the lawyer should stay confined in room for fifteen years and it similar to life imprisonment because the lawyer would feel the same way a prisoner would feel living his life in prison. The story gives you unexpected ending because of what the lawyer decided to do in the end. The banker who can be described as an over-excited, arrogant man started to put up the bet against the lawyer.
The author shows that the banker is conceited that he was sure that he could get the better of the lawyer, however the story does not end that way. Anton Chekhov showed the weak side of the banker, which is that he, would not be able to accept if the lawyer won the bet. This quote, “The only escape from bankruptcy and disgrace is that the man should die,” clearly shows the cowardly trait of the banker because with his desperation of winning, he would go in so much trouble to kill the lawyer just so he would not lose his money. In addition, this concludes that his self-value of the moral value of human life have reached their all time low.

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