In "God Sees the Truth, But Waits," how do the generalized characters act to fulfill the purpose of the story?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tolstoy does not give much direct characterization for his characters in "God Sees the Truth, But Waits"; in fact, the only character that readers know much about is Aksionov, the story's protagonist, and even he is mainly a stock character.  He is a man wrongly convicted, spurned by his wife and children, and patiently serving out his sentence in a prison camp.  He really could have any occupation or have been accused of any crime to meet Tolstoy's purpose.  Tolstoy uses Aksionov, his shrew wife (another stereotype), and the penitent villain (Semyonich) to teach that it does not matter who someone is, what he has done or hasn't done, or even what kind of family he has.  Rather, Tolstoy stresses that God is in control and will do whatever he wills with the lives of humans.