The Bet Summary

In “The Bet,” an idealistic young lawyer bets he can survive fifteen years of imprisonment. A banker bets him two million rubles that he can’t. Imprisonment breaks the lawyer, however, and he walks out of his cell early so he can’t collect his rubles.

While debating whether or not capital punishment is more humane than life in prison, an idealistic lawyer and a prominent banker bet that the lawyer can’t survive fifteen years in prison. His prize if he wins will be two million rubles.

The lawyer is imprisoned in the banker’s garden house and allowed access to books, music, wine, and necessities. Fifteen years later, the banker realizes that he will be ruined if the lawyer collects on this bet. He decides to kill the lawyer before his sentence is up.

Mentally broken by his years of captivity, the lawyer gives up on his bet, walking out of his cell five minutes before his sentence ends. He loses the bet, and the banker doesn’t have to pay the two million rubles.


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