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Paper Topic:

compare and contrast

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25 May 2007

Compare and Contrast

The short stories , The Bet` by Anton Chekhov and `How Much Land Does a Man Need ?` by Leo Tolstoy discuss value and meaning of human life Both short stories vividly reflect social norms and traditions dominated in society , role and significance of wealth and money in life of ordinary people . Thesis The stories are based on the theme of death and use irony as the main stylistic device , but differ in story conflict and denouement

p Both stories discuss the theme of death and value of human life . In the Bet , the main characters discuss moral side of capital punishment and life imprisonment while in `How Much Land Does a Man Need ' death of the main character is caused by his false morals and greed . The main similarity is that both authors depict death as a vein sacrifice that is painful and sorrowful causing terrible sufferings and emotional burden . Chekhov writes : In the opinion of some of them the death penalty ought to be replaced everywhere by imprisonment for life (Chekhov 2005 . The hopes and reality proves the idea of two different frames : destiny and death . The Chief says to Pahom : It will all be yours . But there is one condition : If you don 't return on the same day to the spot whence you started , your money is lost (Tolstoy N .d The characters are suppressed by the norms and circumstances , their own narrow worldview and personal low spirits which make them dependant upon life chances

Irony is the main stylistic device which helps Tolstoy and Chekhov to underline false traditions and value of human life . The main similarity is that Chekhov and Tolstoy vividly portray that human life is more valuable than wealth or the land . Again Pahom remembered his dream and he uttered a cry : his legs gave way beneath him , he fell forward and reached the cap with his hands (Tolstoy N .d . Tolstoy underlines the fact that all people are mortal and equal before the death . The great irony is in the bet itself : the lawyer in `the Bet ' has to spend 15 years in isolation trying to prove his position and win two million dollars . The lawyer says : To deprive myself of the right to the money I shall go out from here five hours before the time fixed , and so break the compact (Chekhov 2005 . Chekhov portrays that even trying to challenge destiny , people cannot change ed hierarchy of the world and is punished with an eternal hell . Both authors force readers to understand what fate and destiny mean , and how useless all attempts are Tolstoy and Chekhov persuade readers to think , to analyze and to come to conclusion themselves they just play with the differences adding tension to the stories development . Probably the readers know from the very beginning that the death is inevitable , but hope till the very end that a chosen one can be saved

The main...

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