The Bet highlights the flaws associated with placing too much importance on earthly pleasures. The short story begins by a banker reminiscing on a party he threw 15 years ago. The guests at the party are depicted as highly rational and scientific, based on their occupations and the content of their discussions. The banker argues that capital punishment is more humane than life imprisonment. A lawyer so highly disagrees with this statement that he impulsively makes a bet with the banker that he will stay in solitary confinement for fifteen years, and if successful the banker will award him two million rubbles. The lawyer’s willingness to sacrifice the prime time of his life in...
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...ng lifetime seems absurd to the lawyer. The emphasis placed on the beauty of divine forces by Chekhov scorns the ideas proposed by Nietzsche.
The depiction of a man highly displeased with the fleeting quality of human life in The Bet is contrasted by Nietzsche’s belief in the power of humankind. Chekhov’s text proposes the idea that spirituality will always be the most essential form of guidance, as it is eternal. The Madman explores the idea that man can live independently of this divine force and govern society without it. Chekhov’s conclusions deride Nietzsche’s philosophies.
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882, 1887) para. 125; Walter Kaufmann ed. (New York: Vintage, 1974), pp.181-82.]
Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich. The Bet. Pymble, N.S.W.: Angus & Robertson, 1995. Print.
Belmer, Stephanie. The Making Of The Western World. 2013. Print.
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