- Best Russian Short Stories/The Bet
- The Bet Summary and Analysis of The Bet
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- The Bet () - IMDb
His reading suggested a man swimming in the sea among the wreckage of his ship, and trying to save his life by greedily clutching first at one spar and then at another. By our agreement I ought to pay him two millions. If I do pay him, it is all over with me: I shall be utterly ruined. Fifteen years before, his millions had been beyond his reckoning; now he was afraid to ask himself which were greater, his debts or his assets.
Desperate gambling on the Stock Exchange, wild speculation and the excitability whic h 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. He is only forty now.
He will take my last penny from me, he will marry, will enjoy life, will gamble on the Exchange; while I shall look at him with envy like a beggar, and hear from him every day the same sentence: 'I am indebted to you for the happiness of my life, let me help you! The one means of being saved from bankruptcy and disgrace is the death of that man!
It struck three o'clock, the banker listened; everyone was asleep in the house and nothing could be heard outside but the rustling of the chilled trees. Trying to make no noise, he took from a fireproof safe the key of the door which had not been opened for fifteen years, put on his overcoat, and went out of the house. It was dark and cold in the garden.
Rain was falling. A damp cutting wind was racing about the garden, howling and giving the trees no rest. The banker strained his eyes, but could see neither the earth nor the white statues, nor the lodge, nor the trees. Going to the spot where the lodge stood, he twice called the watchman. No answer followed. Evidently the watchman had sought shelter from the weather, and was now asleep somewhere either in the kitchen or in the greenhouse.
He felt in the darkness for the steps and the door, and went into the entry of the lodge. Then he groped his way into a little passage and lighted a match. There was not a soul there. There was a bedstead with no bedding on it, and in the corner there was a dark cast-iron stove. The seals on the door leading to the prisoner's rooms were intact.
When the match went out the old man, trembling with emotion, peeped through the little window. A candle was burning dimly in the prisoner's room. He was sitting at the table.
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Nothing could be seen but his back, the hair on his head, and his hands. Open books were lying on the table, on the two easy-chairs, and on the carpet near the table. Five minutes passed and the prisoner did not once stir. Fifteen years' imprisonment had taught him to sit still. The banker tapped at the window with his finger, and the prisoner made no movement whatever in response. Then the banker cautiously broke the seals off the door and put the key in the keyhole. The rusty lock gave a grating sound and the door creaked.
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. He made up his mind to go in.
- The Bet (short story).
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- The Bet by Anton Chekhov @ Classic Reader.
At the table a man unlike ordinary people was sitting motionless. He was a skeleton with the skin drawn tight over his bones, with long curls like a woman's and a shaggy beard. His face was yellow with an earthy tint in it, his cheeks were hollow, his back long and narrow, and the hand on which his shaggy head was propped was so thin and delicate that it was dreadful to look at it.
His hair was already streaked with silver, and seeing his emaciated, aged-looking face, no one would have believed that he was only forty. He was asleep. In front of his bowed head there lay on the table a sheet of paper on which there was something written in fine handwriting.
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. But let us first read what he has written here. With a clear conscience I tell you, as before God, who beholds me, that I despise freedom and life and health, and all that in your books is called the good things of the world. It is true I have not seen the earth nor men, but in your books I have drunk fragrant wine, I have sung songs, I have hunted stags and wild boars in the forests, have loved women.
Beauties as ethereal as clouds, created by the magic of your poets and geniuses, have visited me at night, and have whispered in my ears wonderful tales that have set my brain in a whirl. In your books I have climbed to the peaks of Elburz and Mont Blanc, and from there I have seen the sun rise and have watched it at evening flood the sky, the ocean, and the mountain-tops with gold and crimson. At the bar, Rosa tells Gina that she's avoiding Charles because she's afraid that he's going to tell her that he loves her or something and Gina agrees to keep him away.
However, eventually Charles manages to talk with Rosa, then explaining that he knows she's just being nice because he saved her life, but he didn't know it was her that he protected. If they were to date, he would want it to be because of things only Charles Boyle would do. The Next day, at the precinct, Holt thanks Amy for making the arrest and says that he didn't think that the relief team could have made it.
Amy is surprised as Jake didn't tell her. Amy asks Jake if she thought the date was bad but he says it was still good, covering up quickly by saying it was good because they caught the bad guy. Suddenly, a delivery man comes in with a package for Amy. Jake realizes it was the stripper he ordered for Amy and stands in front of her to block the stripper. You suck so bad! Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. It originally aired 14th January to 3. Contents [ show ].
Who is the more humane executioner, one who kills you in a few seconds or one who draws the life out of you incessantly, for years? It's better to live somehow than not to live at all. View 1 comment. Jun 21, Piyangie rated it really liked it Shelves: russian-lit , short-story-novella. This is a very thought provoking short story. The apparent theme is, which punishment is better? The capital punishment or life imprisonment.
Best Russian Short Stories/The Bet
The lawyer thinks that while both are immoral, life imprisonment is the better punishment mode, as it allows the person to live. The banker disagrees saying that capital punishment is better, as it mercifully kills the person instantly rather than killing him over the years. They make a bet whereas the lawyer would undergo voluntary imprisonment for fiftee This is a very thought provoking short story. They make a bet whereas the lawyer would undergo voluntary imprisonment for fifteen years at the end of which the banker is to pay him two million.
Fifteen years passes and the bet ends in a way unimaginable by both parties. While the main focus is on the mode of punishment for the wrong doers, Chekhov throws in philosophy in the second part of the story. The imprisoned lawyer studies many subjects thoroughly and becomes a sort of virtuoso.
He gains "wisdom" through his learning and sees the world in a different light. The banker on the other hand, living the delusional life slowly loses his wealth and becomes corrupt in mind. There is a huge amount of irony here. The imprisoned man reflects on worldly subjects and casts them off as irrelevant for life's happiness while the free man is weighed down with worldly subjects believing that they are the necessities in life, and is living himself in a prison unawares of being living in one.
This is my first attempt at Chekhov and I'm really impressed with his writing and thinking. I really want to explore him further in the future. View all 6 comments. Oct 02, Erin rated it liked it Shelves: audio-books , short-stories. Audio narrated by Walter Zimmerman 19 minutes Execution or imprisonment? Two characters -the lawyer and the banker. Anton Chekhov, like many of his Russian contemporaries knew how to get right into the very core of a man's soul.
Philosophical examination that still seems timely today. I took me 10 minutes to read this, and I might have cried. There are a few paragraphs at the end that explain exactly how I feel about books.
Feb 03, Kimber Silver rated it it was amazing Shelves: classic , favorites , short-stories. During a party held by a wealthy banker, the question of capital punishment is broached. Is it better to have your life taken a day at a time in confinement, or die all at once by execution? One particular young man insists it is better to live a little than not at all and upon this declaration, he is offered a large sum of cash to prove the level of his conviction.
The wager states that he must live confined entirely for fifteen years. With dreams of wealth and vindication shining at the end of During a party held by a wealthy banker, the question of capital punishment is broached. With dreams of wealth and vindication shining at the end of his incarceration, the challenge is accepted and the dance begins. The Bet is a concise but compelling read. I recommend it! This story does, in fact, linger long after you have read it!
It takes a mere few minutes to read and absorb. I really like the fact that my perceived notion to how this story would end was incorrect, I so did not see that ending coming at all. It's a really well written story about the moral issue aforestated in blurb and about the bet between two gentlemen and the aftereffects of that bet.
A quick read but definitely not for me! I read outside my comfort zone, so that was a win for me. Bu Wow!! But I much prefer adventure, a little mystery, psy-trillers and lots of spicy passion kind of reads. Thanks, Kevin - I will let myself out of that mouse-trap now. View 2 comments. Dec 29, Linda rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , short-stories-and-collections. This has been the year of short stories for me. I have found several amazing collections. My thanks to Kevin Ansbro for guiding me to this gem of a story. Not to be missed!
The Bet Summary and Analysis of The Bet
And it is free! View all 7 comments. It is all worthless, fleeting, illusory, and deceptive, like a mirage. You may be proud, wise, and fine, but death will wipe you off the face of the earth as though you were no more than mice burrowing under the floor, and your posterity, your history, your immortal geniuses will burn or freeze together with the earthly globe. You have taken lies for truth, and hideous "And I despise your books, I despise wisdom and the blessings of this world. You have taken lies for truth, and hideousness for beauty.
You would marvel if, owing to strange events of some sorts, frogs and lizards suddenly grew on apple and orange trees instead of fruit, or if roses began to smell like a sweating horse; so I marvel at you who exchange heaven for earth. I don't want to understand you The bet, short story doesn't take more than 15 minutes to be finished, by Anton Chekhov. Stimulate humans thinking about life and death, and how reading to answer the questions about our selfs can change and modify a lot of beliefs, opinions and how we see the world. The story value is not in its events or characters, but, in the philosophy behind it.
So much in so little. The Bet is made between a wealthy banker and a opinionated and smart lawyer of 25, over living 5 years in solitary imprisonment, a much better life than death capital punishment. On the chance the lawyer would survive was a 2 mils bet from the banker. The prisoner spent his time reading and throwing himself, as we tend to do into books we love, into the main plots of his readings. Spending time away and learning a great deal. Learning that the wisdom and the understanding o So much in so little. Learning that the wisdom and the understanding of life is much more important, stronger.
The irony? Wealthy Banker is broke at the end and the Lawyer is now a prisoner who usually keeps people out of prison and adds 10 more years to the bet, losing to a broken down, pathetic aged man of 40 and gives up the bet for a better life learned. Remorse and guilt lie at the end of this unwise bet. Nov 26, Eileen rated it liked it. A good story for group discussion. It puts us in front of many Questions!
What’s the date of the 12222 BET Awards?
Do we really appreciate our life? Can we change our dark spots into bright ones? What is the big lesson we have learned through our lives? A short story indeed to make you wonder on the philosophy of life. The story may be too short to leave an ever-lasting mark in your thinking but it may spark something within to reflect on life. A great concept behind a very short simple story. Loved it. Can't find words to describe this marvelous story!! Fabulous story!!!
The Bet () - IMDb
Free download available at Project Gutenberg. View all 3 comments. Sep 17, Snooty1 rated it it was amazing Shelves: books , audiobook.