“THE BET” ANTON CHEKHOV Setting: 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 Characters: Banker: Feels that the death penalty is more moral 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 . . . How? 1. 2. 3. 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 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. Theme: 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. Irony There are many instances of irony throughout Chekhov’s “The Bet” Situational: Dramatic: Verbal: Please complete the Irony Chart with a partner . . .