God Sees the Truth, But Waits

by Leo Tolstoy

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What were Aksionov's bad habits before he got married?

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Before his marriage, Aksionov had had a reputation for drinking and for unruly behavior while drunk. However he had already given up these habits before the beginning of the short story in question. Even so, this past is not entirely irrelevant to the events of "God Sees the Truth, but Waits." When Aksionov attends the Fair, he is placed under suspicion for a murder he did not commit. As part of the criminal investigation, inquiries are made into his personal character. Here his past becomes relevant once more, because while the consensus is that Aksionov was largely good natured, they do mention his problems with drinking. Despite his innocence, the case against him is convincing. Aksionov is found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment in Siberia. It is there that he will spend the rest of his life, dying at the story's conclusion.

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Before he got married and settled down, Aksionov was something of an alcoholic. His drinking would often get him into trouble, as it would cause him to engage in riotous behavior. But that was then, and this is now. Since getting married, this handsome young man has gained a reputation as a respectable businessman. He has established himself as a wealthy, successful merchant with two shops as well as a house of his own. He now hardly drinks at all, which may or may not be related to his extraordinary success in life.

Ironically, Aksionov's patronage of an inn will get him into trouble in a rather different and much more serious way. For it is while staying at an inn that the merchant acquaintance with whom he has been lodging is brutally murdered. Aksionov is entirely innocent of this heinous crime, but he is subsequently convicted and sent to a remote labor camp in the depths of Siberia.

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