Short Stories: “The Bet”

Goals for the Week:

  1. Follow along with the daily readings of short stories.
  2. Decide on and begin a project from the Choice Board
  3. Continue to collaborate with teachers and classmates

Today’s Checklist:

  1. Explore the representation of sacrifice and isolation in a literary work
  2. Read and analyze the short story “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov
  3. Recommend a film that demonstrates the theme of social isolation or sacrifice to my teacher

Today’s Lesson!


  • ELAGSE9-10RL6: Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.
  • ELAGSE9-10RL3: Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

Learning Target: 

I can analyze the representation of sacrifice and isolation in “The Bet,” so that I can recommend a film that highlights the same theme(s) to my teacher.


Here are some background notes to “The Bet”. Take a look at this brief PowerPoint.

Work Session: 

Your assignment for this unit!

You will have one major assignment for this unit, and you get to choose it! Visit the choice board and select one project to complete about one story. In other words,

  • Choose one of the short stories we read over the next two weeks:
  • Choose one project from the Choice Board
  • Complete your chosen project about your chosen story by Friday, May 1st, at 11:59pm

Today’s Story:  “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov.

This is the story that asks which fate is worse: the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Questions to consider during and after reading:

There are three prominent examples of sacrifice in the story.

  1. How much time does the lawyer sacrifice of his (social) life in an attempt to win the bet?
  2. Does the banker sacrifice his morality in order to win the bet?
  3. At the end of the short story, what does the lawyer sacrifice so that he can be a man unaffected by material possessions?


Closing Session: 

For our closing today, we’re going to look at two clips from movies. The first clip is about (social) isolation and from the movie The Martian.

The second clip is about sacrifice and from the movie The Hunger Games.

After you watch the clips, think about other movies that focus on (social) isolation or some sort of sacrifice. (I’m thinking Cast Away for isolation and/or The Pursuit of Happyness for sacrifice). Message your teacher a movie title that represents either theme. You can do this through Remind or whatever method of contact that you utilize. Afterwards, go out and watch the film!

You can also read this article from Time magazine which highlights “10 Movies About Social Distancing to Watch While Practicing Social Distancing”. Stay safe everyone!


Looking Ahead: Tomorrow’s Story

If you want to get ahead on things, here is what we’re going to be doing tomorrow!

  1.  “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant


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