In the story "The Bet", what does the first paragraph about the gospel reveal about the lawyer?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unfortunately your question is not very clear so I am going to have to guess which paragraph you are referring to. I am assuming you are referring to the beginning of the story, and what is interesting about the discussion about the death penalty is how different people respond to it. Note what the lawyer contributes to the discussion:

"The death sentence and the life sentence are equally immoral, but if I had to choose between the death penalty and imprisonment for life, I would certainly choose the second. To live anyhow is better than not at all."

The lawyer seems to side with other guests at this party who believe that "The state is not God. It has not the right to take away what it cannot restore when it wants to." However, it also shows the lawyer's deep, passionate belief in life and living life at any cost rather than death. This conversation therefore establishes one of the key themes of the novel, which is the overriding value of life, whatever the price.