Summary (Masterplots II: World Fiction Series)
Hadji Murad takes place in the mid-nineteenth century Caucasus Mountains, where a religious civil war has been waged by the Tartar Moslem mountaineers, also known as the Chechen, against the Russian imperial army and Orthodox church, who are attempting to repress them and to extend the empire. As the story opens, Hadji Murad, a Tartar governor and a warrior of legendary prowess, has defected from the forces of Shamil, the Chechen holy leader (Imam), and is in flight. Hadji Murad is trying to negotiate with the Russians to join their forces and take revenge against Shamil, who has killed many of his kin and who holds his mother, two wives, and five children hostage. He finds refuge and hospitality in the home of Sado, who runs some risk because the rest of the village hope to capture his guest. Hadji Murad sends messengers to the Russians to offer his surrender on the condition that they accept him into their forces, help him regain his family, and let him fight with them to destroy Shamil.
Meanwhile, the villagers try to capture Hadji Murad, who gallops through their barricade and escapes into the forest, where he finds the rest of his men waiting for him. The next day, he is received at Fort Vozdvighensk by Prince Vorontsov, whose father is the viceroy and sirdar in the Caucasus. Both father and son hope to benefit from Hadji Murad’s defection, and they receive him with much ceremony.
Hadji Murad relates his past life to the...
(The entire section is 902 words.)
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