Asked • 4d

In The Bet, why does the lawyer willingly stay fifteen years instead of five years for no extra reward?

In *The Bet* by Anton Chekhov, the lawyer voluntarily accepts to stay in prison for 15 years, instead of the original agreed upon 5 years. Here's the relevant passage:> "The death sentence and the life sentence are equally immoral, but if> I had to choose between the death penalty and imprisonment for life, I> would certainly choose the second. To live anyhow is better than not> at all."> > A lively discussion arose. The banker, who was younger and more nervous in those days, was suddenly carried away by excitement; he> struck the table with his fist and shouted at the young man:> > "It's not true! I'll bet you two million you wouldn't stay in solitary confinement for five years."> > "If you mean that in earnest," said the young man, "I'll take the bet, but I would stay not **five but fifteen years**."> > > "Fifteen? Done!" cried the banker. "Gentlemen, I stake two million!"> > "Agreed! You stake your millions and I stake my freedom!" said the young man.(emphasis mine)Why does the lawyer do this? He's not gaining any monetary reward, so I really can't see his motivation for opting to stay in prison an extra 10 years.

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