Unit 1.3: God Sees the Truth but Waits

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This article has all the exercises of unit 1.3 of English Literature of class 11, God Sees the Truth but Waits.

Understanding the text

Answer the following questions.

a. What bad habits did Aksionov have before his marriage?
→ Aksionov used to drink before his marriage and was riotous when he drank too much.

b. What can be the meaning of his wife’s dream?
→ The meaning of his wife’s dream can be a bad fortune or unlock.

c. Why did Aksionov think of killing himself?
→ When Aksionov meets the real murderer of the businessman, he had lost everything. He was not getting support from his family members too, kept in prison for 26 years, and grown old before time. So he thought of killing himself.

d. Why did Makar disclose that he had killed the merchant?
→ Makar disclosed that he had killed the merchant because he realized his mistake and thought that he should not let other be punished for his crime. He did so because he felt pity over Aksionov.

e. Why doesn’t Aksionov wish to return to his family at the end of the story?
→ Aksionov doesn’t wish to return his family his wife was dead, he didn’t know about his children and lived in the name of God at the end of the story.

Reference to the context

a. “Well, old man,” repeated the Governor, “tell me the truth: who has been digging under the wall?”

i. Who is that old man?
→ That old man is Aksionov.

ii. Which truth is the speaker asking about?
→ The speaker is asking about the truth of digging an escape hole.

iii. Which wall does the speaker mean?
→ The speaker means the prison’s wall.

b. Describe Aksionov’s character.
→ Aksionov is the protagonist of the story “god sees the truth but waits” written by Leo Tolstoy. He is a young merchant. He is a handsome, fair-haired, curly-headed fellow, full of fun and very fond of singing. He used to drink much before marriage but later on, he changed himself and became a good man. He had virtuous qualities such as faith, forgiveness, freedom, and acceptance. His comfortable life is disrupted when he is framed for a murder he didn’t commit and was sent to a Siberian prison camp. He earns a reputation as a good person among the prison officials and fellow prisoners. After finding himself imprisoned with the man who framed him, Aksionov is ready to kill himself. However, at the end of the story, he is able to forgive Semyonich. He dies shortly before the authorities order him to be released.

c. What is the theme of the story?
→ In the story ‘God Sees the Truth, But Waits’ by Leo Tolstoy we have the theme of guilt, forgiveness, faith, conflict, freedom, and acceptance. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realizes after reading the story that Tolstoy may be exploring the theme of forgiveness.

If the plea of his wife to the Czar is denied, Aksionov realizes that he cannot rectify his wrong. He commits himself to God to offer him that righteousness that a man cannot give him.
Aksionov becomes a modest and pious person in jail. Officials and inmates appreciate him in settling disputes for his neutrality. Aksionov’s trust in God is so great that he thinks that he must be wicked to deserve God’s tortured life.

After Aksionov is reluctant to report the drilling of Semyonich’s tunnel, Semyonich is disturbed by the compassion of Aksionov. Aksionov eventually gives forgiveness to Semyonich.

d. Which symbols are used in the story and what do they indicate?
→ The most important symbols in this short story are Aksionov’s house (and two shops) and the Siberian prison mine where he is sentenced to hard labor. His house and two shops represent his family, his material possessions, and his earthly affairs. The prison itself is a symbol of his suffering and his eventual spiritual transformation.

Reference beyond the text

a. What role does religion play in Aksionov’s life? How does he undergo a spiritual transformation in the story?
→ This story is all about Aksionov who lost hope and just trusted God. Though he didn’t commit any crime, he was imprisoned for 26 years. Makar revealed the truth that he was the real murderer. Aksionov forgave him for accepting the truth and attained self-realization. But when the order of his release came, he was already dead. Our weakness can only make the problem stronger. Being hopeful can make all things possible. The title means that every decision of God needs enough time. This story is for all those people who lose hope and don’t believe in God. We should wait for the truth to win with faith in God. God gives us the answer to all our problems, as the title says ‘God Sees the Truth, But Waits’. At the end of the story, there is a shift from materialism to spiritualism.

b. What does the story tell us about the existence of an unfair system of justice?
The story tells us that one who commits the crime must be punished and kept in prison but not the innocent one. As here in the story, Aksionov did not commit any crime but he was kept in prison whereas the real murderer Makar was not punished. Thus this story depicts the unfair system of justice.

If you have any confusion, feel free to drop a comment down below. In the meantime, you can read these articles.

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Suraj Chaudhary is the founder of HighApproach, a student, a web designer, and a writer who is figuring things out.

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