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 about Literature
The “Lottery Ticket” is a short story by Anton Chekhov about a man named Ivan and his wife who fantasize about winning the lottery. They both think about the good and bad implications before they realize that they have a losing ticket.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 >
Anton Chekhov's "A Marriage Proposal" is a one-act comedy set in rural Russia in the late 1800s that finds would-be lovers Ivan and Natalya arguing about a disputed piece of land between their properties and about whose hunting dog is superior. They stop fighting only long enough to get engaged.Full Answer >