“The Bet” is a short story written by a Russian writer Anton Chekhov in 1889. It is a fiction story based on morality. Even though the story is short, Chekhov has shown what is the real beauty of life. Even though we are blessed wealthily in life, we generally take everything for granted. People don’t realize what actually matters in life for surviving. We never take in to account what the nature and society gives us on day to day basis to survive in this world.
It is an eye opening story and is definitely a must read. The story starts with a party where high level rich bankers and lawyers are socializing. And the discussion is going on whether capital punishment is worse than life imprisonment. They are debating that on one side capital punishment can be very brutal being death penalty and government shouldn’t take something that they cannot give back, on the other side life imprisonment is equally brutal as a person dies every single day being confined within a closed place with basic surviving necessities and no contact with the outer world.
When this is going on a young lawyer gets really furious saying that capital punishment is worse and for severe crime, life imprisonment is enough for redemption. At the same time a rich banker challenges the young lawyer that he would bet two millions if he could stay in solidarity imprisonment for even five year and survive. And to that the young lawyer said, if he would get two millions he can stay in solidarity for fifteen years.
And that’s when the bet starts. The young lawyer is kept in solidarity prison for fifteen years with no contact to outside. He is not allowed to hear or see anything that is going on outside. He is only given the privilege of food, books, wine and tobacco in his cell. He can ask for as many books or any kind of books he likes to read. He can get as much wine and tobacco through a small window in his room. If he completes his fifteen years then he gets two millions.
Now the suspense is will the young lawyer be able to survive this self imprisonment solidarity or will he fail? What will the rich banker do. Because two millions is a huge amount to pay for a bet.
To know what happens ahead and who wins the bet you need to read the book. 🙂
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Published date: 14 January 1889
Author: Anton Chekhov
Page count: 73
My rating: 5/5
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