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The Cost of Wisdom Essay

  • Submitted by: ChadDrimer1
  • on October 7, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,867 words

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Below is an essay on "The Cost of Wisdom" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In the short story, “The Bet”, Anton Chekov portrays how wisdom is both a gift and how it can also be worthless.   Wisdom is beneficial to any man who has the ability to take advantage of it throughout his life, yet it is a curse to any man who lacks the freedom to use it within society.     Chekhov expresses this in the lawyer’s letter to the banker when he says, “Your books have given me wisdom.   All that the unresting thought of man has created in the ages is compressed into a small compass in my brain.   I know that I am wiser than all of you.   And I despise your books, I despise wisdom and the blessings of this world. It is all worthless, fleeting, illusory, and deceptive, like a mirage. You may be proud, wise, and fine, but death will wipe you off the face of the earth as though you were no more than mice burrowing under the floor, and your posterity, your history, your immortal geniuses will burn or freeze together with the earthly globe.”   This is ironic because the lawyer who takes the bet feels that the wisdom he obtained in solitary confinement would benefit him, but during his confinement, he realizes that these benefits can only be attained if his new found wisdom can be applied outside his confinement.
The point of the bet was for the lawyer to prove that life, no matter how it is lived, is better than no life at all.   He is trying to prove that the death penalty is a far worse penalty than imprisonment for life.   The lawyer believes that both sentences are immoral, but he also believes that life is sacred no matter how it is lived.   In the lawyer’s mind, no matter how miserably a person lives his life, he can always find happiness.   Throughout the story, the lawyer becomes a wiser man by expanding his knowledge on a broad range of subjects.   He immerses himself in a variety of books and music.   He becomes fluent in six languages, he becomes an immaculate piano player, and he becomes knowledgeable beyond imagination through works by authors such as...

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"The Cost of Wisdom". Anti Essays. 14 Aug. 2018


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The Cost of Wisdom. Anti Essays. Retrieved August 14, 2018, from the World Wide Web: https://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/The-Cost-Of-Wisdom-522648.html