God Sees the Truth But Waits | Summary & Questions and Answers | Class 11 by Suraj Bhatt

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God Sees the Truth But Waits | Summary &  Questions and Answers | Class 11
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God Sees the Truth But Waits Class 11 Summary &  Questions and Answers NEB Compulsory English 

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

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GLOSSARY OF 👇

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

alight (v.): come down from a horse or vehicle

confess (v.): admit or state that one has committed a crime

convict (n.): a person found guilty of a criminal offense and serving a sentence of prison

Czar (n.): emperor, specifically the ruler of Russia until the 1917 revolution

despair (n.): absence of hope

flog (v.): beat (someone) with a whip or stick as punishment or torture

inn (n.): an establishment for the lodging and entertaining of travellers

knot (n.): a fastening made by tying a piece of string, rope, or something similar

mercy (n.): pity, compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone

mirth (n.): fun and enjoyment as shown by laughter

perish (v.): suffer death, typically in a violent, sudden, or untimely way

petition (v.): make a formal request to (an authority) with respect to a particular cause

riotous (adj.): involving public disorder; out of control; unruly

spree (n.): unrestrained activity of drinking alcohol

tinkle (v.): make or cause to make a light, clear ringing sound

troika (n.): a Russian vehicle drawn by three horses abreast

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF 👇

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

Name: Leo N. Tolstoy 

Nationality: Russian ( He was a Russian
Nationalist)

Date of Birth: September 9, 1828

Birth Place: Yasnaya Polyana, Russia

Death: November 20, 1910 (82)

He was a novelist, short story writer, playwright and essayist.

His Notable Works:

War and Peace

Anna Kerinina

The Kingdom of God is within You

Resurrection


He was Influenced by:

Mahatma Gandhi

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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ABOUT THE STORY 👇

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

Leo N. Tolstoy’s short story 'God Sees the Truth, but Waits' was initially published in the year 1872. This story is about the false conviction and imprisonment of Ivan Dimitrich Aksionov of Vladimir, a town in Russia. He is an innocent man who is charged with a murder that he did not commit, and it takes the form of a parable for forgiveness.

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THEMES OF THE STORY 👇

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

We find various themes here in this story "God Sees the Truth, but Waits". The major themes in the story are guilt, forgiveness, faith, conflict, freedom and acceptance. The story has presented all these themes. Among these themes, forgiveness is one of the greatest themes. Here, we find forgiveness of Aksionov for Makar Semyonich. Although Aksionov has spent his twenty-six years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he is able to forgive  Makar who committed the crime. This story has shown the best form of revenge which is forgiveness. 

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MORAL OF THE STORY 👇

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

▪︎Forgiveness and forgetfulness are the best forms of revenge.

▪︎We should forgive others. 

▪︎Enemity never makes anyone happy.

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CHARACTERS OF 👇

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

There are two main characters in Leo N. Tolstoy’s story ''God Sees the Truth, But Waits.'' They are Ivan Dmitrich Aksionov and Makar Semyonich. Other minor characters include Aksionov’s wife, the soldiers, and the police officer.

Ivan Dmitrich Aksionov:

Ivan Dmitrich Aksionov is the main protagonist, or main character, of the story. He is a merchant in a town called Vladimir of Russia. He has ''two shops and a house of his own''. It shows his level of material success. He is unfortunately charged with murder and theft. He spends his twenty-six years in prison for that crime which he hasn't committed. His character moves through a transformation during his imprisonment as he learns spiritual truths apart from the material world.


Makar Semyonich: 

Makar Semyonich is the real criminal who actually committed the crime that Aksionov is convicted of. Many years later, he meets Aksionov in prison, but he does not admit his guilt until Aksionov’s upright behaviour convicts his own conscience. In this way, he also goes through a spiritual transformation of sorts.

Aksionov's wife:

Aksionov’s wife is an unnamed minor character in the story. She is the one who warned Aksionov not to go to the Nizhny fair due to her dream. She appealed to the czar and even forwarded the petition to plead for her husband’s innocence but was denied. She doubts her husband, and questions his innocence in the prison.


The soldiers and the official:

The soldiers and the official who question Aksionov are also unnamed in the story. They suspected Aksionov of the crime despite having no motive and having never found the money he supposedly stole. 

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SETTING OF THE STORY 👇

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

The story "God Sees the Truth but Waits" has mainly presented the setting of a town called Vladimir of Russia. Later, the prison of Siberia has been presented. 

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DETAILED SUMMARY OF 👇

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

This short story "God Sees the Truth But Waits" is a heart-touching tragic story which has been written by a Russian writer Leo N. Tolstoy. This story is about a young merchant named Ivan Dimitrich Aksionov who lived in Vladimir, a town in Russia. This story has presented the imprisonment of this main character for a crime of murder which he hadn't committed.


According to this plot, Aksionov was quite a handsome man who had two shops and a house. He was so jovial and fond of singing. Before marriage, he used to drink much and even become riotous. After marriage, he gave up much drinking. He had a wife with small kids.


Once, during summer, Aksionov planned to go to Nizhny fair to sell his goods. Before setting off, his wife stopped him from going to the fair. She informed him about a nightmare which she had dreamt of. She related that nightmare saying that he returned to town with grey hair. Aksionov laughed and even interpreted the dream as a sign of luck.


On the halfway, Aksionov met a merchant from Ryazan with whom he drank and spent his night at an inn. Both of them slept in adjoining rooms. 


The next day, before dawn, he set off with his horses and coachman while the air was cool. When he had gone about 25 miles, he stopped to feed his horses. He ordered samovar and started playing his guitar. In the meantime, two soldiers and a district officer came to him and questioned him a lot of questions related to the merchant with whom Aksionov had spent his last night. They informed Aksionov about that merchant's murder. The dead body of the merchant had been found at an inn's room with his throat cut. They took Aksionov back to the inn's room and searched his luggage.  They found a blood-stained knife in his luggage. Aksionov trembled with fear. He was charged for murdering the merchant and even robbing twenty-thousand roubles from him. Aksionov was arrested and sent to prison. 


His wife came there to meet him along with her small kids. She got permission to meet her husband from the official after begging much. She fainted to see her husband among the criminals and thieves in the criminal's dress. Later on, she informed her husband about the rejection of the petition by the Czar. Aksionov wept when his wife raised a suspicious question to him. Aksionov said goodbye to his family for the last time. For him, God was the only one to expect for mercy.


He was tortured severely there in prison. Aksionov was sent to a Siberian prison for twenty- six years to work in the mines. His hair and beard turned white and grey. He walked slowly, spoke very little and never laughed. He learnt to make boots and earned money. He bought a book named "The Lives of the Saints". He used to read the chapter in the dim light of the cell and every Sunday he used to read and sing the chapter at the church. His fellow prisoners respected him and called him Grandfather or the Saint. Prisoners would go to him for justice if there were fights in the prison. He spent every single day in God's devotion and on the way of truth.


One day, a gang of new prisoners came to the prison. Among those prisoners, one was Makar Semyonich. He was a tall, strong man of about sixty with grey hair.  He related his story to others about his arrest in the horse-stealing case. He was also from Vladimir. When he got known about Aksionov's story, he kept on laughing shamelessly. Aksionov couldn't get to sleep that night after hearing Makar's words. He felt sure that Makar was the person who killed the merchant. He kept on thinking about his family, his long time sufferings and so on. He even thought of killing himself. As time passed by, Aksionov discovered that Makar is the one who killed the merchant from Ryazan. He was quite angry with Makar but didn't speak a word about it.


One night, Aksionov discovered Makar digging a tunnel under his sleeping shelf. Makar threatened him not to tell a word otherwise he would kill him. Aksionov didn't bother about Makar's threatful words. The next day, soldiers discovered the tunnel. The governor arrived to question the prisoners but no one spoke a word about the tunnel. When Aksionov was asked about the tunnel, he also denied saying about Semyonich.


That night Makar Semyonich quietly came to Aksionov's cell. Makar begged for forgiveness for all his bad deeds. He confessed the truth about the murder of the merchant and also about the fact of a hidden knife. He admitted that he wanted to kill him too. Aksionov remained silent. Makar knelt upon the ground and asked for forgiveness again. He admitted confessing his crime to the governor. Makar didn't rise, bent his head on the floor and wept for his forgiveness. Aksionov even wept along with Makar. Aksionov felt his heart lighter. He longed to stay and die in prison. At last, when Makar confessed and the order of  Aksionov's release came, Aksionov was already dead.

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SHORT SUMMARY OF 👇

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

The story “God Sees the Truth, But Waits” has been written by Leo Tolstoy, a Russian philosopher. The story has revealed the importance of forgiveness in our life.


This story is about the life of Ivan Dmitrich Aksionov who was a young, handsome and jovial merchant of Vladimir, a town in Russia. Before marriage, he used to drink much and even become riotous. He was the best singer. He had virtuous qualities such as faith, forgiveness, freedom, acceptance etc.


One day, his wife dreamt bad about him. She dreamt that Aksionov had returned his town with grey hair. She became afraid of him and tried to stop him from going to the Nizhny fair.


But, Aksionov went to the fair against his wife's will. On his way, he met a merchant of Ryazan and spent his night with him in an inn. The merchant was found out dead the next morning. Aksionov was accused of killing the merchant and stealing twenty thousand roubles from him. His release petition was even rejected. His wife  also asked questions to him being suspicious. He was severely tortured in the prison and finally sent to Siberian prison to work in the mines for twenty-six years. He grew old there. In Siberian prison, he was completely changed. He devoted his every day in the name of God. The book "The Lives of the Saints" changed his life. He participated in the prison's church doing religious activities. He was liked and respected by others.


One day, Aksionov met Makar Semeyonich, the real murderer in prison.  He knew the truth about Makar. But, he saved Makar from the governor in the crime of digging a tunnel under the prison's wall. Makar felt ashamed of himself and asked for an apology to Aksionov. He confessed his crime and got an excuse from Aksionov. Aksionov got self-realization and died peacefully in prison.


Thus, the title reflects in this story that every decision of God needs enough time. We should wait for the truth to win. Faith in God gives us the answer to all our problems as the title says ‘God sees the truth but waits.’

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TEXTBOOK'S QUESTIONS & ANSWERS OF 👇

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

BEFORE READING

a. What does the title of the story mean?

Answer:

The title of the story means that every decision of God needs enough time. The almighty God knows each and everything. There is nothing hidden in front of God's eyes. The judgment of God is always right but there is a delay in the way of truth which is God's way. We should wait for the truth to win with a deep faith in God.  Truth provides us with answers to all our problems.


b. Is it fair to punish innocent people in the name of justice?

Answer:

No, it isn't fair to punish innocent people in the name of justice. As a human, the judge of the court doesn't know the reality about the suspects. He/She judges the case according to the proofs. In most cases, there is the wrong judgment by the judge and the people become the victim of wrong judgment. 


c. Do you believe dreams might predict the terrible fate of a person? 

Answer:

Yes, I believe dreams might predict the terrible fate of a person. This story itself suggests the same case. In our societies, most people believe in dreams. They try to find out the meaning of dreams and act accordingly. Our evil dreams sometimes turn out to be our terrible fate and we have to bear the loss.

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UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT 

Answer the following questions:

a. What bad habits did Aksionov have before his marriage? 

Answer:

Aksionov was a very handsome and jovial person who used to seek happiness. Before marriage, he had very bad habits of drinking alcohol and involving in fights. He used to drink much and become riotous. 


b. What can be the meaning of his wife's dream?

Answer:

The meaning of his wife's dream can be a sign of a bad omen. In her dream, she had seen her husband returning to his town with grey hair. She became quite afraid of her husband. She supposed the dream as a sign of evil.


c. Why did Aksionov think of killing himself?

Answer:

Aksionov thought of killing himself because he remembered all those harsh situations which he had faced in his life without committing any crime. He remembered his torture, the people around him while he was in chains, the convicts, twenty-six years of imprisonment, his premature old age etc. All these painful thoughts made him so wretched that he was ready to kill himself.


d. Why did Makar disclose that he had killed the merchant?

Answer:

Makar disclosed that he had killed the merchant because he felt ashamed of himself. He felt pity over Aksionov. Aksionov saved Makar from the governor though he was a victim of Makar's crime. The act of Aksionov made Makar feel ashamed and disclose his crime.


e. Why doesn't Aksionov wish to return to his family at the end of the story?

Answer:

Aksionov doesn't wish to return to his family at the end of the story because he has become quite old. He has spent his entire life in prison without committing any crime. He is feeble too at this age. He desires to die in the prison instead of going to his family.

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REFERENCE BEYOND THE TEXT:

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


i. Who is that old man?

Answer:

That old man is Aksionov who has spent his twenty-six years in prison.


ii. Which truth is the speaker asking about?

Answer:

The speaker is asking about the truth of a person who has been digging under the wall of the prison. 


iii. Which wall does the speaker mean?

Answer:

The speaker means the prison's wall.


b. Describe Aksionov's character.

Answer:

Ivan Dmitrich Aksionov was a young wealthy merchant in the town of Vladimir in Russia. He had two shops and a house. He was a handsome man with fair-curly hair. He was 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. He was accused of murdering a fellow merchant and robbing him. He suffered a lot in prison and spent his twenty-six years waiting for God's judgement. He was also mentally strong because he was able to endure many unfortunate events, such as losing his home, family members and his business. Finally, he displayed a strong religious devotion by growing closer to God during difficult times. He was a truthful man, holding his peace till the end but circumstances changed his fate and he died in prison at last.


c. What is the theme of the story?

Answer:

We find various themes here in this story "God Sees the Truth, but Waits". The major themes in the story are guilt, forgiveness, faith, conflict, freedom and acceptance. The story has presented all these themes. Among these themes, forgiveness is one of the greatest themes. Here, we find forgiveness of Aksionov for Makar Semyonich. Although Aksionov has spent his twenty-six years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he is able to forgive  Makar who committed the crime. This story has shown the best form of revenge which is forgiveness. 


d. Which symbols are used in the story and what do they indicate?

Answer:

We find the use of many symbols here in this story. Following are the symbols used in the story:

1. House and shops:

Aksionov's house and shops symbolize the earthly material possession which doesn't favour anyone and remain forever. Aksionov doesn't get the support of his possession till the end.


2. Nightmare (grey hair):

The terrible dream of Aksionov's wife symbolizes the terrible fate of Aksionov. The story has presented the bad results of the nightmare. The grey hair in the dream turns out to be real in Aksionov's life.


3. The prison:

The prison itself is a symbol of Aksionov's suffering and his eventual spiritual transformation. Prison is the place where he finds pains, tortures and even spiritual transformation. 


4. Book (The Lives of the Saints):

This book is the symbol of religious transformation within Aksionov. Due to this book, Aksionov devotes his life towards God and keeps faith till the end.

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REFRENCE BEYOND THE TEXT:

a. What role does religion play in Aksionov's life? How does he undergo a spiritual transformation in the story?

Answer:

Religion plays a very vital role in Aksionov's life. He has spent his whole life in Siberian prison expecting the right judgement of God. After being suspected by his wife, he gives up all his hopes and tells himself that God only knows the truth. For twenty-six years as a convict in Siberia, he grows older. In prison, Aksionov works hard and learns to make boots. He earns a little money with which he buys the book ‘The Lives of the Saints'. He devotes his life in the name of religion being much faithful on God. He starts reading and singing this book in the prison's church on Sundays. He realizes various aspects of life, fate in connection with religion. The prison authorities even like him for his meekness. His fellow prisoners respect him and call him “Grandfather” or “The Saint.” He knows about fate, spirituality, God's devotion, righteous path, acceptance, forgiveness etc. He keeps on showing his truthfulness. He meets the real murderer of the merchant but remains silent. He even saves the convict from the governor. He gets self-realization and forgives Makar at the end. Aksionov realizes that forgiveness is the path to peace. He obtains peace at last and dies. In this way, we find him and his life-transforming from materialism to spiritualism only because of religion.


b. What does the story tell us about the existence of unfair system of justice?

Answer:

The story tells us about the existence of an unfair system of justice through the main protagonist's incident of life. Here in this story, a good and innocent man is wrongly imprisoned on a charge of murder, punished for 26 years and made to lose everything and his entire life for no fault or crime of his own, but only based on evidence. He suffers a lot entire his life but get self-realization and dies peacefully at last.

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VERY SHORT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS OF 👇

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy

1. Who is the writer of the story "God Sees the Truth but Waits"?

Answer:

The writer of the story "God Sees the Truth but Waits" is Leo N. Tolstoy.


2. Who has narrated the story "God Sees the Truth but Waits"?

Answer:

An unnamed third-person narrator has narrated the story "God Sees the Truth but Waits".


3. When was the story "God Sees the Truth but Waits" published?

Answer:

The story "God Sees the Truth but Waits" was published in the year 1872.


4. In which country is the story "God Sees the Truth but Waits" set?

Answer:

The story "God Sees the Truth but Waits" is set in Russia (Soviet Union).


5. Who is the story's main protagonist?

Answer:

Ivan Dmitrich Aksionov is the story's main protagonist.


6. Who is the story's main antagonist?

Answer:

Makar Semyonich is the story's main antagonist.


7. What activities are Aksionov fond of before his marriage?

Answer:

Before his marriage, Aksionov is fond of drinking and fighting.


8. What are Aksionov's first names?

Answer: 

Aksionov's first names are Ivan Dmitrich.


9. What is Semyonich's first name?

Answer:

Semyonich's first name is Makar.


10. In which genre is "God Sees the Truth, But Waits"?

Answer:

"God Sees the Truth, But Waits" is a short story.


11. What did Ivan Dmitrich Aksionov's wife dream about?

Answer:

Ivan Dmitrich Aksionov's wife dreamt about her husband Aksionov returning home with grey hair. 


12. To where did Aksionov set out at the beginning of the story?

Answer:

Aksionov set out to the Nizhny fair at the beginning of the story.



13. How did Aksionov interpret his wife's nightmare?

Answer:

 Aksionov interpreted his wife's nightmare as a lucky sign.


14. Which town was Aksionov from?

Answer:

Aksionov was from Vladimir, a town in Russia. 


15. Which mode of transport did Aksionov use to travel?

Answer:

Aksionov used to travel in a horse-drawn carriage. 


16. Whom did Aksionov first meet on his way to the fair?

Answer:

Aksionov first met a fellow merchant from Ryazan on his way to the fair.


17. Where did Aksionov stay on his way to the fair?

Answer:

Aksionov stayed in an inn on his way to the fair.


18. What is a samovar?

Answer:

A samovar is a tea urn.


19. What was Aksionov doing when the police arrived to question him?

Answer:

Aksionov was playing his guitar when the police arrived to question him.


20. What did the official accuse Aksionov of having done?

Answer:

The official accused Aksionov of killing and robbing a fellow merchant from Ryazan.


21. What did the official find among Aksionov's possessions?

Answer:

The official found a bloody knife among Aksionov's possessions?

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