Life and freedom in anton chekhovs story the bet

stories of anton chekhov

The day before the fifteen-year period concludes, the banker resolves to kill the lawyer so as to not owe him the money. I am sorry for you. The banker tapped at the window with his finger, and the prisoner made no movement whatever in response.

You stake your millions and I stake my freedom! It was during this period that the banker received the following letter from his prisoner: "My dear Jailer, I write you these lines in six languages. Khudozhestvennaya Literatura.

I say three or four, because you won't stay longer. What, then, to make of this ending? The banker expected to hear at once footsteps and a cry of astonishment, but three minutes passed and it was as quiet as ever in the room.

We find him continuously growing throughout the story. In the meantime, the banker's fortune declines and he realizes that if he loses, paying off the bet will leave him bankrupt.

The bet by anton chekhov symbolism

At no other time, even when he had lost heavily on the Stock Exchange, had he felt so great a contempt for himself. The banker, who believes that the death penalty is more humane and moral than life imprisonment, argues that experiences, pleasures, and relationships are what make life worth living. His fortunes change, but his personality does not; he remains foolish and impulsive: Desperate gambling on the Stock Exchange, wild speculation and the excitability which he could not get over even in advancing years, had by degrees led to the decline of his fortune and the proud, fearless, self-confident millionaire had become a banker of middling rank, trembling at every rise and fall in his investments. Those who watched him through the window said that all that year he spent doing nothing but eating and drinking and lying on his bed, frequently yawning and angrily talking to himself. He is intelligent by the virtue of reading so many books, which reflects in his eagerness to associate with other men, rather than claiming the final prize. And tobacco spoilt the air of his room. I say three or four, because you won't stay longer. But soon he began studying vigorously. However, I think it's interesting to look at this in the wider context of the story, which is really all about pride and impulsiveness set against wisdom and patience.

And I have only to take this half-dead man, throw him on the bed, stifle him a little with the pillow, and the most conscientious expert would find no sign of a violent death. To me two million is a trifle, but you are losing three or four of the best years of your life.

The note declares that in his time in confinement he has learned to despise material goods as fleeting things, and he believes that divine salvation is worth more than money.

We see various phases in his term of imprisonment over the years.

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The Bet (short story)