GOD SEES THE TRUTH BUT WAITS-LEO TOLSTOY
The story is spread over a period of 26 years, where the main character Aksionov changes over time. He becomes a person whom everyone in the prison, including the guards, trust. He was liked for his meekness and his fellow prison mates respected him. He was called’ grandfather’ and ‘The saint’. He became the spokesman for petitions and was the person to whom people came to when they had quarrels or any kind of problem. He is interpreted as a person who stuck to his values and his identity even after all the years in prison. He had no news of his family and was hurt by this fact alot. He had aged over the years and looked older than his age. His hair was gray, he stooped, walked slowly spoke very little and never laughed. Even then his presence was felt throughout the prison because of his kind nature and he was loved by everyone. The other character in the story, Makar Semyonich is a stark contrast to Aksionov. Semyonich is was tall, with a closely cropped gray beard. They were both of the same age but Aksionov had aged over the years in the prison, while Semyionich was strong and well built. Because of his appearance, Semyonich called Aksionov “gran’dad”. They way Semyonich spoke to the others was in a very casual tone, as if it was nothing great that he had landed in prison and that the crime he had committed was not that a heinous one. Even after he found out who Aksionov was, his voice did not show any remorse or guilt, which showed that he wasn’t guilty that someone else had been convicted of a crime that he had committed. When the murder of the merchant was discussed, Semyonich uttered the words “ how could anyone put a knife into your bag while it was under your head?” When he said these words, Aksionov understand he was the real murderer as he had not said that the bag was under his pillow. When he found out who the real killer was,he longed for vengeance even if he himself should perish for it . there was a change in his attitude, in his thoughts. He was no longer in peace and had a sense of uneasiness in him. Even when the guards were asking Aksionov if he knew who had dug a hole in the prison, Semyonich stood as if he was innocent, as if he had no care in the world. But Aksionov did not give up semyonichs name even though he had seen him do it, because he was good at heart and wasn’t too sure if he was the one who had killed the merchant. Seeing that Aksionov hadn’t given his name up, Semyonich went to him and confessed his crime of murdering the merchant, for which Aksionov had spent 26 years in jail. He begged for forgiveness and even said that he would confess to the guatds. But it did not ake a difference to Aksionov as his entire life had been spent in prison and there was nobody outside waiting for him- his wife was dead and his children did not remember him anymore. Semyonich felt the pain Aksionov was suffering , and begged for his forgiveness, for he wanted to change as a person and wouldnot be in peace with himself until Aksionov had forgiven him. The story is about forgiveness and how forgiveness can bring a change in a person. There is a change in Semyonich when he realises his mistake and sees the suffering of Aksionov in prison, which drives him to beg for forgiveness from Aksionov. He even confesses in court of his previous crime, though it did not make a difference in Aksionov’s life as he passed away before his order for release came. There always was a sense of acceptance in Aksionov’s mind and heart, acceptance of his condition in prison and he was at peace with himself. But when he realised who the real murderer was, his peace was overtaken by anger, revenge and hatred towards Semyonich. He wanted him to suffer ah he had for the past 26 years. But when Semyonich came to ask him for forgiveness, a sense of relief overcame him, his heart grew light and and the longing for home left him. He knew that god would forgive Semyonich for his mistake....
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