The Bet Personality
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A good word to describe the banker is arrogance, which fades away to some extent at the end of the story. In the beginning he was so determined to prove the lawyer wrong and was even willing to pay him two million dollars in order to talk him into a bet. The reasoning behind the banker’s actions was only to have the satisfaction of being right. In the text it states, “The banker, spoiled and frivolous, with millions beyond his reckoning, was delighted at the bet” (Chekhov 968). This only shows his arrogance and his confidence towards the bet. At the end of the story his personality changes to some extent. Some of his arrogance faded away since he is no longer as economically stable as he was fifteen years ago. The article states, “Fifteen years before, his millions have been beyond his reckoning. Desperate gambling on the stock exchange, wild speculation, and the excitability which he could not get over even in advancing years had by degrees led to the decline of his fortune, and the proud, fearless, self-confident millionaire had become a banker of middling rank, trembling at every rise and fall in his investments” (Chekhov 970).
This proves that the once confident lawyer has fallen from a very successful path. Some arrogance still remains because he was contemplating on killing the lawyer. This shows that he doesn’t want to give the lawyer or anyone else the satisfaction that he was wrong and would rather go to killing extremes than to be proven wrong. He also hides the letter that was written by the lawyer, and the only reason he does this is to avoid speculations for not having the two million. The letter could serve as possible proof that the lawyer did not want the money. • “‘Poor creature!’ Thought the banker, ‘he is probably asleep and dreaming of the millions. And I have only to take this half-dead man, throw him on the bed, stifle him a little with the pillow, and the most conscientious expert would find no sign of violent death’” (Checkhov 971). • “To avoid arousing unnecessary talk, he took from the table the writing in which the millions were renounced and, when he got home, locked it up in the fireproof safe” (Chekhov 972).