There are several prevalent themes in Chekhov's "The Bet." There are questions about the value of wisdom and knowledge, life and existence, isolation, sacrifice and the corrupting power of money.Know More
The value of wisdom and knowledge is apparent in the lawyer's character. Though he is not entirely unfazed by his self-imposed isolation, he persists because he finds value in educating himself. He is empowered by his pursuit of knowledge, and he gains wisdom through his reflections. While imprisoned, the lawyer ponders the nature of life and existence, studying theological and philosophical writings, leading to further reflection. His 15 years of isolation delivers him into a new reality, far removed from everyday life in society, yet he endures through the words of others.
There are three prominent examples of sacrifice in the story: the lawyer's sacrifice of his social life for 15 years to win a bet, the banker's sacrifice of his morality to kill and not lose the wager he can no longer pay and the lawyer's sacrifice of his winnings to be a man unaffected by material possessions. Ironically, while the lawyer frees himself of the corrupting power of money during his experience, the banker becomes so corrupted he convinces himself he should kill the lawyer to avoid paying.Learn more in Literature
The power of love and trust against the backdrop of poverty is the primary theme of Langston Hughes' short story "Thank You, M'am." The collision of Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones with the young Roger, who tries to steal her purse, is both psychological as well as physical. His desire to own a pair of blue suede shoes motivates him to try what appears to be his first robbery, but her upright morality and firm belief in doing what is right knocks his greed right down to the ground.Full Answer >
The theme of "Just Lather, That's All" is the nuances of morality and an exploration of the line between doing what is "best" and what is "moral." The story further develops the themes of bravery, heroism and common sense.Full Answer >
Anton Chekhov's "A Problem" is a short story about a man named Sasha who cashes in a forged promissory note, which becomes a family secret. His family faces a moral dilemma about how to handle the matter; one uncle believes Sasha should go to jail, while the other believes the family should keep his act a secret and not allow him to face punishment.Full Answer >
Chekhov's play "The Brute," also called "The Bear," is a one-act comedy that features three principal characters: Elena Ivanovna Popova, Grigory Stepanovitch Smirnov and Luka. "The Brute" is one of several of Chekhov's comedies referred to as "farce-vaudevilles."Full Answer >