Religion in Chekhov and Nietzsche's Philosophies Essay

Religion in Chekhov and Nietzsche's Philosophies Essay

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The philosophies that emerged from the age of enlightenment have altered our view of the world. Initially, societies’ knowledge was solely based on the ideas proposed in religious texts. The rise of consumerism made humans place more faith in science than in religion. This proposes severe problems for a society who’s values were all grounded in their beliefs. The ideologies presented in Chekhov and Nietzsche’s texts demonstrate two vastly different conclusions about the potential of humankind. The absence of religion has created a void in society. Chekhov demonstrates the view that all human achievements are ultimately worthless, as humans are fleeting. Nietzsche’s character believes in the power of man and encourages society to become god like and create their own set of morals. The philosophies of such a man is mocked in The Bet. Chekhov’s portrayal of a man’s disappointment with the transient aspect of worldly knowledge is contrasted with Nietzsche’s depiction of a man’s attempt to recreate divinity on earth and govern society based on fabricated morals.
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...

... middle of paper ... 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.

Works Cited

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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