Anton Chekhov

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What is the theme of the short story "The Lottery Ticket"? 

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The theme of "The Lottery Ticket" by Anton Chekhov is the insidiously exciting but destructive nature of envy and desire for material possessions. 

In the exposition of Chekhov's story, Ivan Dmitritch and his wife Masha are quite content with the existing economic state in which they reside. But, when his wife mentions that she is in possession of a lottery ticket and her number may be in the newspaper this day, things begin to change. Ivan Dmitritch looks in the paper and discovers that his wife's series number matches the series number posted in the paper. "'Masha, 9,499 is there!' he said in a hollow voice." She, too, becomes excited just to know that part of their number matches the winning one for 75,000:

[T]o torment and tantalize oneself with hopes of possible fortune is so sweet, so thrilling!

Ivan Dmitritch tells his wife how he would like to purchase property and pay the immediate expenses, purchase new furnishings, engage in some travel, and make payment of all debts. He would...

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