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Good question--As readers we do know for certain that Aksionov is a completely different person after imprisonment than he was at the story's beginning. In the story's second paragraph, the narrator observes that
"Aksionov was a handsome, fair-haired, curly-headed fellow, full of fun, and very fond of singing."
He also states that Aksionov liked to drink from time to time and in general seemed to be a very amiable young man. After Aksionov is falsely convicted and sentenced to the prison camp, he becomes deeply religious and philosophical, quite different from the merry, care-free person he previously was.
One aspect of Aksionov's life that might not have changed is his marriage's failure. At the beginning of the story, he does not heed his wife's warning, demonstrating that he finds her rather silly, and later she does not stand by him when he is arrested for murdering someone. Their relationship seems to be missing the strong foundation that a successful marriage requires, and it is doubtful that if Aksionov had continued life as it was that he and his wife would have had a happy marriage, for neither spouse seems to respect or truly know the other.
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