Literary Devices in The Bet
Throughout “The Bet,” Chekhov employs a variety of literary devices to create a sense of realism. He uses a concise two-part story structure, ample metaphors and similes, and frequent foreshadowing to delineate between the two main characters and drive the plot forward. One of his best-known techniques throughout his writing is to leave the story’s conclusion open-ended. Although the bet is originally a matter of determining whether life in prison or the death penalty is more humane, the story ultimately shifts into an examination of the pointlessness of human desire and materiality. The ending asks readers to pause and contemplate.
Literary Devices Examples in The Bet:
"His reading suggested a man swimming in the sea among the wreckage of his ship, and trying to save his life by greedily clutching first at one spar and then at another...." See in text (Part I)
"as though you were no more than mice burrowing under the floor..." See in text (Part II)
"It is all worthless, fleeting, illusory, and deceptive, like a mirage...." See in text (Part II)
"He was a skeleton with the skin drawn tight over his bones, with long curls like a woman’s and a shaggy beard...." See in text (Part II)
"A damp cutting wind was racing about the garden, howling and giving the trees no rest...." See in text (Part II)