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Monday, 26 May 2014

"God Sees the Truth, But Waits"

inspired "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption". 
I didn't know that. 
(Haven't read this book but I've watched its film "The Shawshank Redemption"). 
Perhaps I would appreciate Tolstoy's story (or should I say parable?) more if I were more religious, but I'm not, so, even if you may frown at me for in this case preferring Stephen King to Tolstoy, I can't help saying that in "God Sees the Truth, But Waits" Tolstoy seems to advocate passivity and resignation, which also means throwing one's life away and giving up hope and stopping fighting for the truth and justice. Aksenov accepts his fate, good for him; forgives, good for him; dies in peace, good for him. But his attitude isn't much different from defeatism and the parable can only be helpful to people who believe in God, the afterlife and the immortality of the soul; to others, the point about forgiveness can be thought-provoking, but the overall story is rather pointless. Aksenov, arrested for a crime he doesn't commit, gets sent to Siberia for 26 years, passively accepting it instead of fighting, and then dies. 
Also, the country from which I come does shape my thought, my sense of justice and freedom. Freedom is not free. We do not know what will happen after death, why throw our lives away if we only live once? The story reminds me of another film, "In the Name of the Father", based on a true story. It's less about the corruption of the police officers and their tampering with evidence than about the triumph of justice at last- late, indeed, Gerry Conlon and his friends spent more than 15 years in prison, but still, they were released and proved innocent. And Tolstoy's story? Maybe I'm thinking more of my own time, when technology is better, when we have CSI and the police and lawyers and everything, but one may argue that Tolstoy's story no longer has much value if it's only relevant for its time. 
Go back to "The Shawshank Redemption", justice doesn't come from another trial, doesn't come from a nice lawyer (like Gareth Peirce). Andy escapes. The moral is different. Like Aksenov, he never complains, never blames anybody, but his silence is endurance, not passivity, and finally he earns his freedom. The story, in short, is about hope, and the triumph of human spirit against all odds.
Tolstoy's story... Well.........

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