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The Bet

The Bet


by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov


Character Role Analysis

The Banker and The Lawyer

Whom are we rooting for in this story? Do we really want either one of these people to win?

The banker seems like a skeevy and amoral kind of guy, so he's not really feeling like a role model for anyone. But the lawyer is also kind of a grotesque, barely human weirdo. The banker is personally more awful, but his point of view about the material world being an okay place resonates more with the reader. The lawyer does fewer terrible things, but his total rejection of life is way creepy, and way unrealistic.

So let's split the difference—they are both protagonists here, both in an anti-hero kind of way.