Anton Chekhov's The Bet Essay

Anton Chekhov's The Bet Essay

Length: 677 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


Though Anton Chekhov's "The Bet" was written in a different country at a different time, it portrays a timeless theme; greed is a crippling trait of mankind. This message can be seen through the author's use of characterization of both the lawyer and the banker. The banker was a static character; he was greedy from start to finish. The lawyer was a dynamic character and he saw the wrong in his ways and changed them in the end.
The author portrayed the banker as a foolish and greedy man, and since Chekhov characterized him as static, he never changed. His inability to alter his ways resulted in him making an extraordinarily rash bet and later on him wanting to kill a man in cold blood. “That is not true! I bet you two million that you wouldn’t even last five years in a cell on your own” (Chekhov 960). In this quote the banker bet two million ruble on a wager made in less than two minutes; he never stopped to think about things in the long term. As a result, he let a young, naïve man, the lawyer, spend fifteen years in solitary confinement. The banker was so sure that he would win that he was willing to bet a fortune on it and when it came time to lose his money, he couldn’t. The author conveyed the banker as a person who couldn’t change via his use of characterization through dialogue. Through Chekhov’s use of the banker’s words the reader could infer the he was frozen in his avarice. It was only the beginning of his life when the banker made the bet but the author portrayed his character in such a way that the reader could deduce that he would never change. “To put paid to any unnecessary disputes later on he picked up the sheet with the renunciation from the table, turned to the house and locked it in his fireproof safe” (964). ...


... middle of paper ...


...and he ultimately realized that mankind is foolish. After fifteen years of reading, the lawyer became so wise that he rose above greed and foolishness and lived the lives of a thousand men. He saw that mankind is truly on the wrong path and did not wish to be part of it. Though the lawyer did not speak in the end, the author’s use of the characterization through thoughts let the reader see how dynamic the lawyer was as he was able to change his ways in the end.
Chekhov used characterization to put forward the message that greed is a truly crippling trait of mankind. Through both the actions and dialogue of the banker the reader saw how greed causes man to behave. Via the dialogue and thoughts of the dynamic character, the lawyer, the reader realized the awful results of avarice. Greed is a timeless theme that, throughout history, has had a perpetually poor outcome.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Anton Chekhov's The Bet Essay

- ... As a result, he let a young, naïve man, the lawyer, spend fifteen years in solitary confinement. The banker was so sure that he would win that he was willing to bet a fortune on it and when it came time to lose his money, he couldn’t. The author conveyed the banker as a person who couldn’t change via his use of characterization through dialogue. Through Chekhov’s use of the banker’s words the reader could infer the he was frozen in his avarice. It was only the beginning of his life when the banker made the bet but the author portrayed his character in such a way that the reader could deduce that he would never change....   [tags: greed through characterization]

Better Essays
677 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Anton Chekhov 's The Bet

- Nihilists are people who have adopted a variety of negative philosophical beliefs and political views, often times to the extreme. Originating from the Latin word meaning Nothing, Nihilist tend to believe that is no point to our existence, and extremist some even argue that our existence isn’t real (Nathanson).This form of thinking may appeal and encompass the way a lot of people might feel, but the concept really limits one’s full enjoyment of life. While we all are living with a very limited amount of time, microscopic in the big picture, the impact one can make in that time is tremendous....   [tags: Life, Death, Edgar Allan Poe]

Better Essays
1398 words (4 pages)

The Value of Human Life in The Bet by Anton Chekhov Essay

- In the short story “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov a wager is made that changes the lives of two people. The story begins with a heated argument at a party over which is more moral, capital punishment or life imprisonment. The host of the party, the banker, believes that capital punishment is more moral because the death sentence kills the victim quicker rather than dragging out the process. A twenty-five year old lawyer at the party responds, saying, he would choose the life sentence to be more moral because any life is better than no life at all....   [tags: The Bet Essays]

Free Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)

Anton Chekhov 's ' Chekhov ' Essay

- “Love, friendship and respect do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something.” These are famous words from Russian author, Anton Chekhov. Chekhov was a very pertinent writer during the Victorian Era. Born in 1860, he started writing during a critical time for authors of his kind - those that focused on the most practical details of actual human life through writing, the people who expressed their realistic outlooks on the world as they knew it without holding back. During this time, realism was a writing style that didn’t appear often - it was essentially taboo to write in such a way....   [tags: Literature, Writing, Victorian era, Anton Chekhov]

Better Essays
1170 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on The Themes of Arrogance, Greed, and Materialism in The Bet

- The Themes of Arrogance, Greed, and Materialism in The Bet In Anton Chekhov’s “The Bet” two men, one a banker and the other a lawyer, begin the story arguing about whether or not capital punishment is fair. The banker is in favor of capital punishment while the lawyer contends that if offered the chance he’d take life in prison. The banker bets the lawyer two million rubles that he couldn’t survive in prison for fifteen years. The lawyer agrees to remain in the banker’s “prison” for fifteen years, and if the lawyer lasts those fifteen years he is to receive the two million rubles....   [tags: Bet Essays]

Better Essays
840 words (2.4 pages)

Anton Chekhov’s Use of Characterization in his Short Stories Essay

- Anton Chekhov is a Russian writer; he writes short stories. In his short stories he relies on characterization to make his points about a character in few words. Some believe that since no build up of exciting events happen his stories are meaningless. However, Chekhov’s stories are thought by others to be enjoyable. While others think they’re a waste of time to read due to the lack of events happening; I think Chekhov focusing on characters emotions and what they say is much more important. In other words Chekhov primarily uses internal drama rather than external drama....   [tags: Emotions, Words, Russia]

Better Essays
666 words (1.9 pages)

The Resolution of Conflicts Essay

- “To live anyhow is better than not at all” (Chekhov 1) , the short story, The Bet commenced with the conflict when the person had no choice but to choose between the death penalty or life in prison. The Bet was originally written by Anton Chekhov, a profound Russian short-story writer who concentrated a lot on human values and the reflection of the extravagantly selfish Russian nobility. And through The Bet he was able to express all those ideas in two sides, the banker and the lawyer with the conflict along the story line....   [tags: Literary Analysis, The Bet]

Better Essays
1849 words (5.3 pages)

The Lady With The Dog By Anton Chekhov Essay

- Love is essential to human beings, however at times it fails to surpass certain limits due to a complex reality. In the story; “The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhov, the syntax, tone, and diction all collaborate in order to portray the complications of overcoming temptations. Dmitri Gurov is a banker from Moscow who is fascinated by the appearance of a woman who happens to be walking alone, along the sea of Yalta. Gurov is a married man who also happens to have kids but unfortunately, he despises his wife whom he characterizes as ignorant (Chekhov, 166)....   [tags: Marriage, Love, Affair, Anton Chekhov]

Better Essays
1437 words (4.1 pages)

Anton Chekhov Biography Essay

- Anton Chekhov was a man and author who overcame many obstacles during the course of his life. His contributions to literature were immense, but it came only through hard work and many failed attempts that he became the great author he is known as today. He was the poster-boy for art mimicking life. What Chekhov experienced and learned through his past was revealed through his writing. This was especially true for his plays, in particularly The Cherry Orchard. Anton Chekhov was born on January 17, 1860, in Taganrog, Russia....   [tags: Anton Chekhov Biography]

Free Essays
601 words (1.7 pages)

Anton Chekhov Biography Essay

- March 10, 1917. Bolshevik revolutionaries boldly stormed the palace of Nicholous I in Moscow ending his reign and an era in Russian civilization with it. A pattern of destruction and upheaval of the old establishment followed with the systematic elimination of all properties, belongings, records and archives connected with the upper classes and aristocracy. Amid this time of revolutionary purification, a vast number of great Russian writers and artists were dragged from the ranks of nobility. But one, Anton Chekhov, was the exception....   [tags: Anton Chekhov Biography]

Better Essays
1394 words (4 pages)