1. How much can one live vicariously through books? (vicariously means- felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of another)
2. A paragraph in the second half of the story includes, “The garden was dark and cold. It was raining. A damp, penetrating wind howled in the garden and gave the trees no rest.” How does this language and atmosphere relate to what is going on in the story?
3. The lawyer writes in his letter, “The geniuses of all ages and of all lands speak different languages, but the same flame burns in them all.” What does he mean by this? Is this true?
4. What are “classics”? How would they differ from novels of “light character”?
5. Why does the narrator call the bet “wild” and “senseless”?
6. Why do you think the lawyer takes the bet? What do you think this says about his life?
7. What is meant by “The State is not God?”