The main character and narrator of Dostoyevsky’s The Gambler is the private tutor Alexey, who is in service of a Russian general, currently residing at a resort in Roulettenburg, Germany; an area where the bourgeoisie of 19th century Europe gather in masses at the roulette tables, in the hopes of getting a kick whilst squandering their own wealth in a gentlemanly manner. Being the lowest-ranked member of the companionship and in furious yet conflicted love with the General’s daughter, Alexey seeks to gain her love through the act of gambling; he amasses a great deal of wealth through gambling; but the money, unable to buy her love, instead enables him to form a gambling addiction. In the end, it is up for Alexey to determine whether he will quit the act and pursue his love, or fall into the unforgiving grip of gambling.
“Sometimes the wildest idea, the most apparently impossible thought, takes possession of one’s mind so strongly that one accepts it at last as something substantial… more than that if, the idea is associated with a strong passionate desire, then sometimes one will accept it at last as something fated, inevitable, predestined – as something bound to be and bound to happen.”
This is the though-process of Alexey, throughout the novella. His own strong and passionate desire in winning at roulette for the sake of his love is ultimately what empowers him: “I only know that I must win, that it is the only resource left in me. […] I fancy I am bound