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Biography: Anton Chekhov is considered "the father of the modern short stroy". When growing up in Russia his father was very stern, he had two brothers, and a mother that was a stroy teller. He was poor and had a hard childhood taking care of the family as best he could. While still a studen he wrote stroies out of enjoyment of authority figures and the poor. His stories became very popular and he became more intriged with writing than being a doctor (his profession). He became a play write and wrote four masterpieces that made him famous. He fell in love with an actress and married her. He ended up with tuberculosis and eventually took his life in 1904.

This story starts with a group of men discussing the pros and cons of the death penalty versus life sentance. An older man, that believes the death penalty is better, bets a young man, who believes life sentence is better, that for fifteen years he is to stay locked up for two million dollars. The young man agrees and is locked away, not to see or hear another person, for fifteen years. During this time the young man goes through several stages. For a while he is depressed, than he embraces the imprisionment and starts to learn. He learns different languages and learns of culture and reads all kinds of literature. Nearing the end of the fifteen years the older man relizes that if he loses the bet and is out two million dollars he will be bankrupt and ruined. He decides to kill the young man. On entering the room the older man reads a letter written by the young man saying that he does not want the money and has learned to hate and distrust the world after all his imprisionment. He decides to leave his room before the fifteen year time period is up. The older man leaves to allow him to do such. The younger man leaves and the older man hides the letter.

"The Bet" reflects modern european literature through reason from the Enlightenment. In this story the young man wants money and to be rich until he learns of languages, points of view, countries, and cultures. He learns through literature that reason overcomes his greed for money. After using his newfound reason he does not want the money and leaves. A historical event this could take after would be the World Wars were people blindly followed ideas until reason came through and stopped the conflict.