True Ambitions, The Bet ( Short Story by Anton Chekov)

Essay by Mina_123456High School, 11th gradeA, December 2008

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Human creation is constantly puzzled by the discovery and purpose of its existence on Earth. One will strive to understand the meaning of life and when found, a person will inevitably work hard to achieve their purpose. In the short story "The Bet", Anton Chekov displays the true intentions of our existence through displaying a poor lawyer who is willing to do anything for money. At the end of the story, I began to realize that the lawyer is misled to believe that money is essential to life, but comes to the conclusion that other things are of superiority. As the plot unfolds, Chekov depicts the will to resist the temptation of greed, understanding the value of human life, and knowledge as the true ambitions of existence.

First of all, the lawyer shows greed when he accepts the bet with the banker. This acceptance is a foolish act by the lawyer for he believes the value of the money won in the bet will pay for 15 years of imprisonment.

Instead, he experiences loneliness and depression in his solitary confinement and realizes that there are more ambitions to life than money. As the lawyer states, "I renounce the two millions of which I once dreamed as of paradise and which I now despise" (Chekhov, 5). It is clear that the lawyer's imprisonment helped him to understand that money is not a great objective to our existence, but the temptation of greed which can test the strength of a person. From the lawyer's experience, I realized that the will to withstand greediness is a real-life lesson, which helps us to look beyond materialistic possessions and focus on more important things in life. Secondly, Chekhov displays the understanding of the value of life without wasting it as a true ambition...