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The Bet Commonlit Answers

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  • 9th Grade
  • Lexile: 990

Source: The Bet by Anton Chekhov

Assessment Answers

PART A: Which statement best expresses a theme in the story?“Greed and impulsive decisions can lead to huge consequences.
PART B: Which paragraph from the short story best supports the answer to Part A?“‘To-morrow at twelve o’clock he will regain his freedom. By our agreement I ought to pay him two million. If I do pay him, it is all over with me: I shall be utterly ruined.” (Paragraph 21)
PART A: Which statement best describes how the banker’s actions develop the theme of the story?“The banker’s hasty and thoughtless actions lead to trouble and despair for him.”
PART B: Which TWO details from the text best support the answer to Part A?“Desperate gambling on the Stock Exchange, wild speculation and the excitability which he could not get over even in advancing years, had by degrees led to the decline of his fortune and the proud, fearless, self-confident millionaire had become a banker of middling rank, trembling at every rise and fall in his investments.” (Paragraph 22)

“he is asleep and most likely dreaming of the millions. And I have only to take this half-dead man, throw him on the bed, stifle him a little with the pillow, and the most conscientious expert would find no sign of a violent death.” (Paragraph 30)
How does the lawyer provoke the banker’s decision to place the bet?The lawyer proposes that he will remain in solitary confinement even longer than the banker suggests.
How does the lawyer’s 15-year imprisonment affect the banker?The banker regrets placing the bet and thinks it
was a stupid idea in the first place.

How does the reader’s knowledge of the events in paragraphs 22-30 reveal the banker and the lawyer’s different points of view and develop suspense?

The reader’s knowledge of the events in paragraphs 22-30 reveals the banker and the lawyer’s different points of view and develops suspense in several key ways:

  1. Banker’s Point of View: The banker is consumed by financial worries and the regret of making the bet. His initial confidence and frivolity have turned into desperation. As the time approaches for him to pay the lawyer the two million, he reflects on his diminished fortune and considers committing a crime to avoid payment. This desperation showcases a significant shift in his values and priorities over the 15 years, moving from a place of power and wealth to one of fear and moral bankruptcy.
  2. Lawyer’s Point of View: In contrast, the lawyer undergoes a profound transformation during his imprisonment, moving from a young man eager to prove a point and gain wealth to someone who has deeply contemplated life, knowledge, and the essence of human existence. Through his studies and solitude, he arrives at a philosophical and spiritual enlightenment, renouncing the material world and the bet’s winnings, which he now views as meaningless.
  3. Development of Suspense: The contrast between the banker’s desperation and the lawyer’s enlightenment creates a rich ground for suspense. As the banker contemplates murder to escape his financial ruin, the reader is aware of the lawyer’s changed perspective, creating a dramatic irony.
    The suspense builds as the banker approaches the lodge, with the reader unsure how the confrontation will unfold, especially since the lawyer has no idea of the banker’s intentions. The revelation of the lawyer’s letter and his decision to leave early, thus forfeiting the bet, surprises both the banker and the reader, resolving the suspense in an unexpected twist.

The juxtaposition of these viewpoints highlights the profound changes in both characters, driven by their initial decisions and the passage of time, and keeps the reader engaged, wondering how these revelations will impact each character’s final actions and decisions.

Discussion Answers

In the context of the short story, how are both the banker and the lawyer corrupted by greed? Can you think of a contemporary example of someone who has been corrupted by greed? Compare your example with what happens in the story. Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.

In “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov, both the banker and the lawyer get super caught up in their greed, but in kinda different ways. The banker, who’s already loaded with cash, gets so into the idea of winning the bet that he doesn’t even think about what it really means.

He’s like, “Yeah, let’s do this bet where you stay locked up for 15 years, and if you do it, I’ll give you two million bucks.” It’s like he thinks his money can buy anything, even someone’s 15 years of life. That’s pretty greedy if you ask me.

Then there’s the lawyer, right? At first, you might think he’s not greedy because he’s all about proving a point. But if you really look at it, he’s also chasing after that two million. He even agrees to stay locked up for five years and fifteen! That’s a long time just to get rich. So, yeah, he’s also got this greedy side where he’s willing to give up a chunk of his life for cash.

Now, if we talk abouta modern example of someone being corrupted by greed, you can think about those big company CEOs who do whatever it takes to get more money, even if it means treating their workers badly or messing up the environment. It’s like they’re so focused on making more and more money that they forget about what’s actually right or wrong.

Comparing this to “The Bet,” both the story and the real-world example show how greed can make people do pretty extreme things. In the story, the banker and the lawyer let their greed take over, leading them to make a bet that’s pretty out there. And just like in real life, when people let greed drive their actions, they end up doing stuff that can hurt others or even themselves.

In “The Bet,” this whole greed thing ends up badly for both of them. The banker loses a ton of his money over the years and almost does something really awful because he doesn’t want to lose more.

Even though he wins the bet by staying locked up, the lawyer realizes that all that money he wanted isn’t worth it after learning so much from his books and solitude. It’s like, in the end, they both see that greed didn’t really get them what they truly needed.

So, yeah, “The Bet” is a pretty good story that shows how being too greedy can mess things up, just like what happens sometimes in the real world.

In your opinion, can money buy happiness? Why or why not? What is the connection between happiness and money?

Okay, so the big question: Can money buy happiness? My take is, not really, but it’s kinda complicated. Here’s the deal: money can buy stuff that makes life easier or more fun for a while, like video games, cool clothes, or vacations. That stuff can definitely make you happy in the moment. But long-term, like real deep happiness? I don’t think money can buy that.

Happiness and money is more about feeling good about your life, having friends and family who care about you, and doing things that make you feel fulfilled. You can’t just go to a store and buy a “happy life” package.

For example, you might be able to buy a sick gaming system that makes you super happy for a few weeks, but if you’re feeling lonely or stressed about school, that gaming system isn’t going to fix those bigger issues.

There’s this story, “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov, where a lawyer and a banker make a bet that kinda shows how money isn’t the key to happiness. The lawyer locks himself away for 15 years just to win a bunch of money, thinking it’ll make him happy.

But in the end, he realizes that all the stuff he learned and thought about while he was alone was way more valuable than the cash. And the banker, who’s super rich, ends up miserable and almost does something terrible because he’s so worried about losing his money. It’s like, neither of them got happier because of money.

So, yeah, money can make life easier and let you do fun stuff, but it’s not going to make you a happy person magically. Being happy comes from having good relationships, feeling good about who you are, and doing things that matter to you. Money’s just a part of life, not the key to happiness.

What is your position on the argument between the lawyer and the banker? Which is more humane: capital punishment of life imprisonment? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.

Alright, diving into the debate between the lawyer and the banker in “The Bet” about whether capital punishment or life imprisonment is more humane, I’m leaning towards agreeing with the lawyer here. Life imprisonment seems more humane to me, and here’s why.

First off, in “The Bet,” the lawyer argues that living in any form is better than not living at all. Even though he chooses to live in solitary confinement for fifteen years, it’s his experiences, the books he reads, and the music he listens to that ultimately change his perspective on life and freedom. This shows that life, no matter how restricted, offers opportunities for growth and change.

The lawyer says, “To live anyhow is better than not at all” (Chekhov). That’s pretty deep because it suggests that life itself has value, and taking that away with capital punishment is the ultimate deprivation.

From my own perspective, I think life is super valuable, and everyone deserves a chance to change. I’ve read stories and watched movies where people change a lot over time. Like, someone might start off on the wrong path but then totally turn their life around. That chance for redemption is really important.

And if we look at history or other literature, there are tons of examples where people who made huge mistakes ended up doing amazing things with their lives after they had time to reflect and change.

Think about Nelson Mandela. He wasn’t in solitary, but he was imprisoned for 27 years, and he came out to be a leader who changed the world. That’s not exactly the same as life imprisonment for a crime, but it shows how someone can transform over time.

So, even though both options are super harsh, life imprisonment at least leaves some room for growth, learning, and maybe even redemption. Capital punishment just ends everything, with no chance for the person to make things right or change. Plus, there’s always the risk of executing someone who’s innocent, which is an irreversible mistake.

In conclusion, like the lawyer suggests, life, with all its ups and downs, is precious. Giving someone the chance to live, even under severe restrictions, is more humane because it acknowledges the possibility of change and redemption.

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