What is the problem in "The Bet"? How does it start and the solution? i need the precise explanation.

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Since the story is told entirely from the banker's point of view, both in the present and in flashbacks, the problem must be his. Obviously, the lawyer has a big problem keeping his mind occupied for fifteen years while remaining in solitary confinement; but the fact that the prisoner actually does manage to stick it out for all those years makes the banker's problem more and more serious.

When the story opens the banker's problem has reached the critical stage. The first part of the story is taken up with flashbacks telling how the bet originated and how the prisoner has apparently been existing in his confinement. The banker made the bet in complete confidence because he was positive that the young lawyer could not endure solitary confinement for more than a few years at most, and that he would voluntary forfeit the bet by breaking the seal on the door, as he was free to do at any time, and walking out of the lodge.

The old man remembered all this, and thought:

"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."

This quote expresses the story's problem succinctly. The banker is appalled at the tenacity of his prisoner. The young lawyer has been making the best of his captivity for fifteen years. He has read over six hundred of the world's best books in many different languages which he taught himself to understand. He has not been able to see or talk to any human being, but he has had a comfortable life at the banker's expense. He can even have wine with his meals. He is not like the Count of Monte Cristo but more like a gentleman of leisure. Meanwhile the banker has been...

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abuzee | Student

in the story of the bet by anton chekhov

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