Please write an in-depth summary of "The Bet" by Anton Chekhov. This is a study guide question posted by eNotes Editorial. Please note that this material is intended to supplement the information...

Please write an in-depth summary of "The Bet" by Anton Chekhov. This is a study guide question posted by eNotes Editorial. Please note that this material is intended to supplement the information presented in our eNotes study guide.

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When the story begins, an old banker is recalling a party fifteen years prior. He and his guests had discussed capital punishment, and most of the guests had condemned it as immoral. Many believed that it should be replaced by life imprisonment, but the host disagrees because he feels that it is more humane to kill a person quickly than to imprison them for the rest of their life, a fate that kills them slowly. One guest, a young lawyer, said that both punishments are immoral, but he would rather have life imprisonment himself because "to live anyhow is better than not at all."

The banker then bet the lawyer two million that he would not be able to withstand even a five-year solitary confinement. The lawyer declared that not only would he take that bet, but that he would stay in this confinement for fifteen years. The banker is thrilled with the bet and has plenty of money to spend in such a frivolous way, but, over dinner, he tries to talk the lawyer out of it because the lawyer will...

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