“The Bet” by Anton Chekhov: reflections and responses
“They’re both equally immoral,” remarked one of the guests, “because their purpose is the same, to take away life. The State is not God. It has no right to take away that which it cannot give back, if it should so desire.”
This quote stuck out to me because I agree with it, although the short story was written in Russia in the 1880s this applies to America today. Instead of prison being about rehabilitation as it should be prisons are overcrowded with people in tiny cells in horrible conditions. People get locked up for low level crimes and when released the state barely helps them get on the right path leading them to go back to a life of crime which means longer sentences. It is easier for the state to just throw someone in prison rather than help because prisons make money. Even when someone is falsely accused of a crime and spent years behind bars the state tries to compensate by giving money but they can never give a person those years back.
Thanks! Very great points and observations! Let’s talk more about this on Wednesday!
The moral in “The Bet” seems to be more than one moral actual there are multiple key concepts we can take away from reading “The Bet”. The first moral that I noticed in the text was capital punishment and how no Matter what capital punishment is wrong such as capital punishment and life imprisonment. The story seems to show how another moral can be transformation and evolving. The lawyer in the text changed a lot through out Those 15 years that he was imprisoned. He fed his mind slot of books and knowledge during those 15 years he read so many books that learned almost everything there was to know about man and society. He states the reality of society and how we as human. He paints a vivid picture of the world that w live in everything’s a mirage and illusion things are not what they seem we see things for what they’re not and that’s why life seems beautiful. Transformation saved the bankers life.
The quote that stood out to me was “they’re both equally immoral,” remarked one of the guests,”because their purpose is the same to take away a life. The state is not god. It has no right to take away that which it can not give back, if it should so desire.” This quote stood out to me because the debate at the dinner party was about capital punishment or life imprisonment and all guests took a side. Except one guest who’s opinion differed and that that either way both types of capital punishment were wrong. One would kill you and seconds and other would kill you slowly but surely. I found it interesting that this would be the topic of discussion at a party and also that people were trying to justifying either one because at the end of the day they both had the same out come and the state has no right to decided either or on a human life.
This article is talking about a bet between a young lawyer and a banker. The lawyer wants to prove that capital punishment should be replaced universally by life-imprisonment.So he was going to stay in prsion for 15 years without seeing any people.After that the banker has to pay the lawyer two millions dollars.At first the lawyer was a greedy man we can easily see that.And the banker was a arrogant man.As time goes by, two millions has become a amount that is almost impossible to bear for the banker,he realized that can not prove that life-imprionment is better than capital punishment,it only prove that he was a stupid and reckless.But the lawyer spent 15 years in reading different books.The contents from the books had make him become a different man,a noble man.And also know about the real meaning about life and freedom.he has met all the beautiful things from the books.So he give up on the money and chose a different path to continue his life.
“That I may show you in deed my contempt for that by which you live, I waive the two millions of which I once dreamed as of paradise, and which I now despise. That I may deprive myself of my right to them, I shall come out from here five minutes before the stipulated term, and thus shall violate the agreement.” “Your books gave me wisdom. All that unwearying human thought created in the centuries is compressed to a little lump in my skull. I know that I am cleverer than you all.
“And I despise your books, despise all worldly blessings and wisdom. Everything is void, frail, visionary and delusive as a mirage. Though you be proud and wise and beautiful, yet will death wipe you from the face of the earth like the mice underground; and your posterity, your history, and the immortality of your men of genius will be as frozen slag, burnt down together with the terrestrial globe.
While reminiscing about the bet itself, the banker says, “It was all nonsensical and meaningless. On my part it was the caprice of a pampered man, and on his part simple greed for money …”. This quote stood out to me because it instantly reminded me how money and possessions can change people. Here you have two wealthy guys risking their time and money on this earth just because they have it. In my opinion if you have this wealth, you should spread it around to benefit others, not make a bet that really doesn’t mean much since this is only one persons experience in solitary confinement.
In spite of all that Knowledge the Lawyers had gain throughout his incarceration , he came to the conclusion that everything that we believe is a lie. For example “Though you be proud and wise and beautiful, yet will death wipe you from the face of the earth like the mice underground…” At the beginning of the story he wanted to prove that life-impressment was better than the capitol punishment. Later on he realize that our society is living an illusion and that we live through the emotions that we experience throughout time. He no longer liked the things that he used to and he thinks that death can erase anyone from earth. That all we have felt, gain and had become will vanish.
The quote that called my attention was “To-morrow at twelve o’clock he receives his freedom. Under the agreement, I shall have to pay him two millions. If I pay, it’s all over with me. I am ruined for ever …”. I chose this quote because it demonstrates how insignificant words might lead to important decision which could be lost over the time. Also this quote emphasizes the transitioning of how the story has changed. Overall, The Story “The Bet” portraits a moral of “words can represent more than just a statement”. After the bet, the lawyer stood on his words for all the years long, meanwhile the banker did not think it was going to be as serious as it ended.
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