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"The Bet"
Anton Chekhov

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  1. 1. Voluntary Confinement The Bet by Anton Chekhov
  2. 2. <ul><li>The Bet is a story about two men, a banker and a lawyer. At a party, the men are discussing the death penalty. The banker believes that the death penalty is more humane than life imprisonment, but the lawyer disagrees. The men make a bet, in which the lawyer is confined to a shed for 15 years. If the lawyer stays all 15 years, he will be paid two million dollars. If he cannot, he will get nothing. While in the shed, the lawyer can have any wine he wants, any book he desires, and all the tobacco he could smoke. Over the 15 years, the man mostly reads, but also plays his piano. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>He does not wish for tobacco, and does not request wine until after several years. After 15 years, the night before the man will be freed, the banker is now broke. Having no money to pay the lawyer, he plans to go murder him in the shed. Inside the shed, the lawyer is asleep. The banker reads the last letter the man wrote. In it, the lawyer says, among other things, that he is renouncing the money. The lawyer leaves the shed with only five hours left and isn’t seen again. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>The major conflict in this story is between the banker and the lawyer. There is also a conflict between the lawyer and himself, which shows very strongly in his final letter before leaving the shed. Also, the banker has a conflict with himself over his bet which he regrets after 15 years, realizing the repercussions. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The climax of The Bet is when the banker goes to the shed and reads the lawyer’s letter. This letter tells of the toiling of man on Earth, “… but death will wipe you off the face of the earth as though you were no more than mice…”(Chekhov). The banker reads this when he goes to kill the lawyer. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Two themes presented in The Bet are the importance of human life and greed. During the time the lawyer spends in the shed, he learns that life is more important than all possessions. Also, greed is shown when the lawyer is willing to give up 15 years of his life for money, “Can it prove that the death penalty is better than imprisonment for life? No, no. It was all nonsensical and meaningless.”
  7. 7. <ul><li>For this movie, I think that Anthony Hopkins should play the banker and Leonardo DiCaprio should play the lawyer. Anthony Hopkins would be the perfect candidate for the arrogant to crazy character. Leonardo DiCaprio, from what I have seen, would be able to make the transition from a headstrong lawyer to a man that has been imprisoned for 15 years. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The most obvious choice for where to film this movie would be Russia. That is where the story takes place so it would make the most sense to have the movie filmed there. We would want a fairly large house with a shed in the back. It would also look better if we filmed this while it was snowing. That is just an opinion, but I think it would help set the mood for this story.
  9. 9. <ul><li>Music can be one of the most important parts of a movie. To set the tone for this story, some ominous music would be the best choice. We could use an orchestra and have them play some eerie music to really set the tone of the lawyer’s confinement. </li></ul>
  10. 10. What Oprah’s Reading “ To prove to you in action how I despise all that you live by, I renounce the two million…(Chekhov) We Critique The Bet by Anton Chekhov