*The Bet* Anton Chekhov

 Modern Times ( late 19th Century)
 More specifically, most of the setting takes
place on the banker’s estate
 Other than that, the reader does not have
much information to place them in a specific
time or place
 Banker:
Feels that the death penalty is more
Loses his fortune in stocks
Feels ashamed of himself
He initiated the wager
 Lawyer:
 Feels life in prison is more humane
 Arrogant - volunteers to up the bet
 Becomes disillusioned with humanity
 His reading habits change over the years . . .
Why do you think that Chekhov
chose to leave his characters
and the setting unnamed?
 The lawyer and the banker are UNIVERSAL
CHARACTERS – It doesn’t matter what
type of reader picks up this story – Every
reader will be able to relate to both the
characters and the setting precisely
because they are both unnamed.
 Tone is the attitude a writer takes toward
his subject or audience.
 Two writers can write on the same subject
(wealth and wisdom, for example) and
leave the reader with two separate
messages on the same subject.
 Chekhov’s tone is quite cynical in “The
Bet”. A reader can infer that the author of
this story does not care too much for
material goods.
 Chekhov raises some interesting and weighty
moral issues in his short story “The Bet”
through his tone and his characterization.
What do you think Chekhov is saying about
wealth, freedom and greed?
Point of View / Narration
 There are three points of view commonly
used to narrate short stories:
 1st Person POV:
 3rd Person Limited POV:
 3rd Person Omniscient POV:
What POV is used in Chekhov’s
“The Bet”?
 Yes, “The Bet” is narrated in the third
person omniscient, because the
reader knows what both characters
are thinking and feeling even though
they don’t know what the other is
thinking and feeling. This type of
narration helps to foster much of the
irony in the story.
 There are many instances of irony throughout
Chekhov’s “The Bet”
 Situational:
 Dramatic:
 Verbal:
Please complete the Irony Chart
with a partner . . .

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