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Hello Tutors, Your task is to complete a draft and final copy of an...

Hello Tutors, 


Your task is to complete a draft and final copy of an essay of 800 words in response to the following prompt base on two short stories ('The Bet' by Anton Chekhov and 'No Witchcraft for Sale' by Doris Lessing):


"It is impossible to really understand why people react as they do to difficult situations". 

Discuss the way in which two of the short stories ('The Bet' by Anton Chekhov and 'Cathedral' by Raymond Carver)  reveal this.


1. This essay will require you to compare and contrast the events, characters and themes from two different stories 'The Bet' by Anton Chekhov and 'Cathedral' by Raymond Carver. 

2. You are also asked to make sure you also look at the choices the authors had made to write the story .


The following is the task to complete: 

1. Read both stories 'The Bet' and 'Cathedral' attached below. 

2. I've attached previous work on both stories for a better understanding if needed.

3. The draft of the essay is to be sent before 10:00 am 1/8/16 (to check and give feedback before the final copy). 


  1. The key steps in planning this sort of essay are: 
  •  - Looking at the topic and analyzing what the topic is asking.
  •  - Organizing the information by looking at the stories again.
  •  - Establishing a strategy by working out at some key things  to say.
  •  - Developing and using a paragraph by paragraph plan. 

Once draft is completed, send it through here. Wait for feedback before proceeding with the final copy. (Final copy is due in a few days). 

I will attach previous work I've done for a better insight into both stories. 


Any questions, let me know. 


Thank you, good luck. 


3 Attachments
The Bet and Cathedral Story The Bet Cathedral Author Anton Chekhov Raymond Carver Setting Russia America Published 1889 1983 Read Week 2 Week 3 " The Bet " is about a banker and a young lawyer who make a bet with each other about whether the death penalty is better or worse than life in prison. The story has a twist in the ending. In “ The Cathedral” the narrator is told that by his wife that a blind man is coming to visit them. The narrator is clearly unhappy about the upcoming visit. The story has a twist in the ending. Themes Integrity, honour, right and wrong, arrogance, power, isolation, money and ego. Communication, stubbornness, arrogance, isolation, ego, alcohol, hope. Point of view Third person, Limited Omniscient Narrator * We are told what the banker is thinking. The author lets us see inside the banker’s thoughts, but not the other characters. We learn about the prisoner via his letters. First Person Central Narrator The narrator is describing an important experience in his life. He's leading us through the changes he undergoes over the course of a single evening. Point of view example The banker, spoilt and frivolous, with millions beyond his reckoning, was delighted at the bet. “I got up and changed the channel. I sat back down on the sofa. I wished my wife hadn’t pooped out.” Stylistic choices Minimalism - Calm, Deliberate, Concise – Matter of Fact, Objective, Dry, and Unemotional See notes after the story Minimalism – where author aims to expose the essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts. (Carver said that he was strongly influenced by Chekhov) Setting Russia 1899 A period when social rules about power control and wealth were different. When the poor were a lot like slaves and social class was very important. The two major characters are both educated men. America in the mid 1970s. A time when TV’s could be black and white or colour. A time when equality and civil rights were often in the media. Setting (2) The Lawyer is not the only one who is effectively in a prison because of the bet. In some ways apartment is like a Cathedral. It is almost a sacred place. * A third person, omniscient narrator is one who is able to see into and describe the thought and feelings of the characters. Omniscient means ‘all seeing’.
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Observations on 'The Bet' Has the lawyer really lost the bet? I think that the lawyer won the bet, he remained in the prison, as he said he would. He accomplished his end of the bargain, while the banker, was left for 15 years to prepare to pay the money, and ends up in financial trouble, trying to find a way out of the bet. In the fifteen years of confinement, the lawyer was left almost completely alone, except for the many books that he reads. Through this process, he becomes wise and deeply spiritual about life. He rejects material possessions, thereby refusing to take the money from the banker. Instead of confinement stealing a man's life, the lawyer proved that confinement enriched a life, his own. Because of that wisdom and his hatred of people's general faults, material possessions, and what he considered the false quality of the world, he purposely lost the bet by leaving five hours before the end of the agreed upon time, thus renouncing the money he was supposed to win. The banker won only in the sense that he did not lose money, but he lost so much more of himself. Having lost his fortunes, he believes his only chance of surviving in the world is if he holds onto as much money as he can. This desperation causes the banker to fret over the day he has to pay the lawyer two million dollars. The banker absolutely opposes giving up his money; therefore, he nearly killed the lawyer in his desire to avoid losing his money. This plan shows the banker valued his money above everything else, even another human. Is his explanation about why he decides to 'escape' with only a few hours to go an indication that he has gained great wisdom or the opposite? As the story progresses, the lawyer recognizes that money is put on a pedestal through greed. He spends fifteen years in prison without a life but leaves knowing that money and material items mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. While imprisoned the lawyer has every material item he wants, and he grows very wise and talented. Because of that wisdom and his hatred of people's general faults, material possessions, and what he considered the false quality of the world, he purposely lost the bet by leaving five hours before the end of the agreed upon time, thus renouncing the money he was supposed to win. The lawyer reaches the conclusion that the only thing that should be of value in this world is human life. Has the lawyer learnt anything or is he just as arrogant and confused as when he took the bet? At the beginning of the story the lawyer is being greedy when he accepts the bet with the banker. This acceptation is a foolish act by the lawyer because he falsely believes due to greed that the value of the money won in the bet will compensate for 15 years of imprisonment. As the fifteen years pass, the lawyer discovers the significance of human life. As exemplified in the story, human life outweighs the value of money. The lawyer demonstrates his understanding that the value of human life is greater than the value of money when he contemplates whether or not he should accept the two million dollars upon completing the fifteen-year imprisonment (gerund). This understanding shows in his letter and his act of leaving the imprisonment early. The lawyer only wants his life back when he gets
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Week 3: Task 1: Tone, point of view and comparisons with The Bet Afer you have read through the notes in the booklet Raymond Carver, answer the Following quesTons on tone and point oF view. What tone does the commentary ‘ObservaTons about Cathedral’ (p24) suggest best describes most oF Raymond Carver’s story ‘Cathedral? As the story begins, the narrator is troubled by the impending visit For reasons he can't quite explain, though he a±ributes it to Robert's disability. OF course, the narrator can see with his eyes but does not realize the limitaTons he has placed on himselF, and how those prevent him From seeing or wanTng anything greater in liFe. ²he narrator is impressed with how li±le like a stereotypical blind man (dark glasses, a cane) Robert looks. I think everything For the narrator changes when Robert guides his hand to draw the cathedrral. Robert tells the narrator to close his eyes, which he does, and then encourages him to draw that way. ²he narrator acquiesces, and the experience is "like nothing else in [his liFe up to now." In what ways is the tone in the last secTon di³erent? (Make sure you use a quote or two in your answer) I think the narrator is trans´xed by something in the blind man. It is no longer the narrator's interpretaTon oF the cathedral at play but the blind man's. ²he experience is liFe changing, it is like a di³erent Tme and space. I'm not sure he wants to draw his own cathedral at this point, he Freely gives over to the blind man. Do you think that the reader supposed to care about the Feelings oF the characters in Cathedral? ²he narrator's aµtude does shif From beginning to the end oF the story. In the beginning he narrator is detached From his liFe. He has issues with himselF, his marriage, and his wiFe's relaTonship with Robert. What Robert sees and teaches the narrator is to see this transcendent reality. Robert senses a depth in reality that conFuses the narrator. Even beFore they sit together to draw the cathedral, Robert has begun to a³ect the narrator. It's nothing parTcular, he says, but nevertheless the narrator ´nds himselF realizing that he does enjoy company, and then Feeling compelled to explore the limits oF Robert's sight, and to help the blind man visualize a cathedral.
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