Anton Chekhov's The Bet Essay

Decent Essays

Though Anton Chekhov's "The Bet" was written in a different country at a different time, it portrays a timeless theme; greed is a crippling trait of mankind. This message can be seen through the author's use of characterization of both the lawyer and the banker. The banker was a static character; he was greedy from start to finish. The lawyer was a dynamic character and he saw the wrong in his ways and changed them in the end.
The author portrayed the banker as a foolish and greedy man, and since Chekhov characterized him as static, he never changed. His inability to alter his ways resulted in him making an extraordinarily rash bet and later on him wanting to kill a man in cold blood. “That is not true! I bet you two million that you …show more content…

The banker never altered his ways which is why he always will have lost in the end. He thought he had won the bet but, due to his character, the true victor never was and never will be him. The lawyer was depicted by Chekhov as a dynamic character who once allowed greed to dominate his life, despite its obvious destructive tendency. He changed his ways as he experienced the repercussions of greed. “If you mean that seriously,” the lawyer replied, “then I bet I could stay locked up for fifteen years, not five” (960). This use of dialogue showed that the lawyer was willing to give up his youth for money because he thought it was more important. His greed resulted in the waste of his prime years in solitary confinement all for money. The author conveyed through the dialogue between the two characters that the lawyer was just as greedy as the banker; he showed this when the lawyer upped the ante as a response to the banker’s proposition. After years of being locked up all because of a wager the lawyer realized how idiotic he had been. “To show in actual practice how much I despise what you live by, I renounce the two million I once dreamed of, as though of paradise, but for which I feel only contempt now. To forfeit my right to them I shall leave this place five hours before the stipulated time and thus break the agreement” (964).Through the author’s use of characterization and through the thoughts of the lawyer the reader saw how the lawyer changed his entire

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