Dostoyevsky paper

Dostoyevsky paper - 1 From Rags to Riches to Rags Once More From the very first page it is made clear to the audience what type of atmosphere our

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1 From Rags to Riches to Rags Once More From the very first page, it is made clear to the audience what type of atmosphere our protagonist and narrator Alexey Ivanovitch is surrounded by in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Gambler . For the majority of the novel Alexey is in Roulettenberg, a resort for the wealthy that has casinos which cater to those individuals who carelessly throw heaping sums of money as though it were pocket change. These wealthy elite are not the only patrons of Roulettenberg. There is another group of people who are not as fortunate; these people stake their very livelihood on the chance that they will hit that sought after jackpot . Ultimately, the casinos there act as a leveling mechanism that brings very few people to the upper echelon of wealth and maintains an overwhelming portion of society at the lower tiers. It is here that Granny loses nearly all of her wealth and here that Alexey reaches that upper tier only to plummet to a level of extreme despair. It is with these gambling episodes as well as the comparison that Dostoyevsky makes that implicitly show how gambling can become an vicious cycle that is hard to escape. The dark side of gambling, this cycle, is hinted even at Granny’s first appearance at the roulette table. There she finds a young man playing with a lot at stake. He is described as pale with glittering eyes and shaking hands (58). The young man had appeared to have won quite a bit of money already, yet he continued to play with huge bets. Upon seeing this, Granny instructs Alexey to tell the young man to cut and run because if he loses now, all of his winnings will be gone (58). This is advice that Granny herself should have remembered and used. While at the casino Granny wins a large sum. Later, she has Alexey bring her back to the casino to see if she can once again capitalize on her good fortune. Alexey takes note that on their way back to the casino Granny seems disinterested in everything except roulette. It appears that Granny begun the cycle. This time around Granny is not as fortunate as her last escapade in the casino.
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2 She quickly loses all of her previous winnings and begins to dip into her pocket book. As a result of her obsessive gambling and her dwindling pocket book, Granny loses everything of monetary value during her stay. Because of the attractiveness of winning, she turned a deaf ear to her own advice to quit when ahead and lost all that she had amassed as well as all that she had with her in Roulettenberg. Once Alexey has witnessed the ups and downs of roulette, it is only a matter of time
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This essay was uploaded on 04/22/2008 for the course FIYS 112 taught by Professor Packel during the Fall '06 term at Lake Forest.

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Dostoyevsky paper - 1 From Rags to Riches to Rags Once More From the very first page it is made clear to the audience what type of atmosphere our

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