Why did Makar disclose that he had killed the merchant in "God Sees the Truth, But Waits"?

Makar discloses that he has killed the merchant in "God Sees the Truth, But Waits" because he is moved by Aksionov's refusal to inform on him to the prison authorities for digging an escape tunnel. Perhaps Makar also feels that he owes Aksionov a favor by telling him the truth.

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To understand why Makar confesses to Aksionov and then to the authorities, it is necessary to know some of the story's background and what leads up to the confession. It is also important to realize that the author, Leo Tolstoy, had a spiritual awakening around the time this story was written and became a devout Christian.

The short story "God Sees the Truth, But Waits" by Leo Tolstoy tells of Ivan Dmitrich Aksionov, a merchant who is unjustly accused of murder and robbery. For his supposed crime he is beaten and then sent off to hard labor in Siberia. He never sees his wife and children again. In his despair, Aksionov turns to God and prayer.

For 26 years Aksionov endures his captivity. He reads holy books, prays, sings, and is renowned for his meekness. The prisoner Makar arrives with some other new convicts, and some remarks that he makes convinces Aksionov that Makar actually committed the murder that caused him to be sent to prison. At first Makar threatens Aksionov, but when...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 961 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 27, 2021
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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 27, 2021