What is the setting of the story "The Bet"?

The setting of "The Bet" is Tsarist Russia. More specifically, its action is largely restricted to the banker's property, where the banker holds the lawyer in confinement. This is all in accordance with a bet that the two had made fifteen years earlier. This story is set mostly at the end of that timeframe, with the bet about to come due.

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Anton Chekhov published "The Bet" in 1889, and the short story follows Russian society in that same era. It is a largely bourgeois picture of society under the tsars, focusing on the wealthy and socially prestigious (rather than the peasants or working classes).

More specifically, this story is predominately set in the home of a banker, who has a lawyer imprisoned in his garden lodge. This is all in accordance with a wager the two had made fifteen years earlier at a party, in the context of a dispute over whether life imprisonment was or was not a more humane form of punishment than the death penalty. In the course of that dispute, the lawyer agreed to be kept in confinement on the banker's property for a span of fifteen years, with the condition that, if he is able to endure that confinement, the banker will pay him a sum of two million rubles. The story is set at the very end of that timeframe, with the lawyer still confined in that garden lodge, and the deadline about to come due.

To a certain degree, the setting does widen a bit: you can see this in the first chapter, where the banker reminisces about the party and the making of the bet. Nevertheless, this story's setting is primarily a narrow one, with its action restricted to the banker's property.

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