How Does Chekhov’s Description of the Setting Support the Banker’s Evil Plan to Kill the Lawyer?

Title: Chekhov’s Descriptive Setting: A Catalyst for the Banker’s Evil Plan to Kill the Lawyer


Anton Chekhov, the renowned Russian playwright, masterfully incorporates vivid descriptions of the setting in his short story, “The Bet.” Through his meticulous attention to detail, Chekhov provides readers with a picturesque backdrop that not only enhances the narrative but also enables the banker’s sinister plot against the lawyer. This article explores how Chekhov’s description of the setting supports the bank’s evil plan to kill the lawyer, unraveling the intricacies of this literary masterpiece.

I. The Secluded Lodge: A Haven for Sinister Intentions

Chekhov sets the stage by describing a secluded lodge, nestled deep within a garden. The isolated location serves as an ideal setting for the banker’s evil plan to unfold, as it ensures no outside interference or witnesses. The lodge’s rustic charm and tranquil ambiance create an illusion of peace, effectively lulling the lawyer into a false sense of security, allowing the banker to manipulate the situation to his advantage.

II. The Passage of Time: A Catalyst for Desperation

Chekhov employs the passage of time as a crucial aspect of the story’s setting. The author meticulously illustrates the lawyer’s twenty-year confinement within the lodge, which amplifies his desperation and vulnerability. As the years go by, the lawyer’s isolation intensifies, making him increasingly susceptible to the banker’s cunning scheme. The setting’s temporal dimension heightens the tension and contributes to the overall atmosphere of impending doom.

III. The Library: Symbolizing Knowledge and Temptation

The library within the secluded lodge serves as a symbolic representation of knowledge and temptation. Chekhov meticulously describes the vast collection of books lining the walls, capturing the lawyer’s desire for intellectual stimulation. This temptation becomes a pivotal element in the bank’s plan, as they manipulate the lawyer’s thirst for knowledge, placing him at a moral crossroads. The library’s alluring presence contributes to the banker’s plot to ultimately lead the lawyer towards his demise.

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IV. The Garden: A Prison of Illusion

The garden surrounding the lodge acts as a metaphorical prison, reinforcing the lawyer’s captivity and entrapment. Chekhov describes the garden’s beauty, with its blooming flowers and vibrant colors, juxtaposed against the lawyer’s confinement. The garden’s deceptive allure further supports the bank’s plan, as it creates a stark contrast between the lawyer’s physical imprisonment and the illusion of freedom just beyond his reach. The garden serves as a constant reminder of the lawyer’s predicament, deepening his desperation and vulnerability.


1. Is Chekhov’s description of the setting essential to understanding the story’s plot?
Absolutely! Chekhov’s meticulous depiction of the setting plays a pivotal role in supporting the bank’s evil plan. The descriptions of the secluded lodge, the passage of time, the library, and the garden all contribute to the manipulation of the lawyer, ultimately leading to his demise.

2. How does the setting enhance the tension in the story?
The setting intensifies the tension by isolating the lawyer within the secluded lodge, amplifying his vulnerability and desperation. The passage of time further heightens the suspense, creating an atmosphere of impending doom.

3. What role does the garden play in the story?
The garden symbolizes the lawyer’s imprisonment and the illusion of freedom. Its beauty serves as a constant reminder of his captivity, deepening his despair and susceptibility to the bank’s evil plan.

4. How does Chekhov’s use of the library contribute to the plot?
The library represents the lawyer’s desire for knowledge and intellectual stimulation. The bank manipulates this desire, using it as a tool to lead the lawyer towards his tragic fate.

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Chekhov’s meticulous description of the setting in “The Bet” effectively supports the bank’s evil plan to kill the lawyer. The secluded lodge, the passage of time, the library, and the garden all serve as crucial elements, enhancing the narrative’s tension and contributing to the lawyer’s ultimate demise. It is through the careful construction of the setting that Chekhov masterfully weaves a tale of manipulation and moral dilemmas, leaving readers captivated by his literary prowess.