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So what is this book, Tolstoy s last novel published in 1899 , about Five things 1 The brutality and injustice of both the legal and prison system 2 The grimness of life for the peasantry in Russia in the early decades of the 1800s 3 Land ownership.4 Religion.5 The importance of compassion and empathy for others.The book is clearly written as a polemic As such it was too preachy for my taste Knowing that Tolstoy at midlife transformed himself from a dissipate aristocrat into a penitent, saintly celibate, and pacifist and vegetarian too, had me a bit worried when I picked up the book My worries were confirmed Being his last novel, he voices loud and clear his life philosophy, focusing particularly on the topics listed above Land should not be owned Tolstoy followed the theories of American political economist and philosopher Henry George The clergy as well as the legal institution of society are corrupt Tolstoy s view is that we are all sinners and thus we have no right to judge others Rather than reforming the legal and penal system, it should be done away with Alternatives are not discussed The end concludes with passages from the Gospel of Mathew With these passages as our guide humanity and society can be improved..and resurrection of goodness attained Often in the book we are filled in on subsidiary characters diverse circumstances and earlier life events These episodes are TOLD, rather than shown It is hard to become engaged Tolstoy is again using these characters to deliver a message Life of the peasantry is grimly portrayed, but at the same time we do see acts of kindness and goodness It is the detailed description of the harshness of that life that I appreciated it is so real, so grippingly and so honestly portrayed Facial expressions Housing conditions Bawdiness and conviviality The living conditions are vividly portrayed This is exactly what I want from historical fiction This story is based on a real event a man got a servant girl pregnant and then deserted her Nothing unusual in that Then years later he served on the jury at her trial She had become a prostitute Guilt and misgivings wracked him and so he tried to marry her She died before marriage In this novel Tolstoy draws a similar story, but not quite the same Similarities can also be drawn between the novel s central character and Tolstoy himself The central character s internal turmoil reflects the battle between good and evil in our souls, the conflict between egotism versus morals and ideals For me this conflict immediately had me thinking that we were seeing into Tolstoy s own personal turmoil These parts I appreciated while they lasted, but then the book falls back again into a lecture of sorts The two central characters are Prince Dimitri Ivanovitch Nekhludov and Maslova, a.k.a Katusha Nekhludov s portrait is drawn withdepth and complexity than Katusha s, I think because Tolstoy is thinking of his own life Her character is less developed than his That she will view spoiler not marry him, because she loves him and knows in her heart that this will hurt him, is not inconceivable Their different stations in life are not something we today so readily acknowledge hide spoiler What moved me the most in this novel is how true is what Tolstoy says about the judicial system, even in our world of today And this is not just in France, but all over the world When I read those sections on judicial errors, imprisonment for lack of official papers, inhuman treatment of prisoners, and the fallacy of the correctional system , I really had the impression that very little has changed since his time.But, before I get carried out, here are somepoints that also moved me deeply, as I could relate to all them personally Nekhludoff s internal void, when he feels he has not really done anything useful so far, to give a meaning to his life Then he is called into the jury duty, where he sees how his former recklessness has ruined the life of a woman and her child And, he decides to act His transformation is not a linear process At every instant, he is struggling with two internal forces, equally valid and equally strong, and it s hard to tell which one is going to win Tolstoy does a great job in unravelling this process, this severe inner conflict in depth, and the gradual change in the lifestyle of Nekhludoff.Maslova, over whom Nekhludoff has this conflict, doesn t make his job easy either In a less experienced writer s hand, she would have fallen for Nekhludoff s offer immediately, but that would have been unrealistic, and the story would have lost its challenge In fact, at the end, just the opposite of what s expected happens Yet, what happens also appeases the heart of Nekhludoff, and we see his true sacrifice Isn t this how life is really Nekhludoff had stopped believing in himself and started believing in others This gave him a serious conflict between his conscience and animal instincts unconsciously, he started to hate himself, thus others as well When he starts to believe himself again, he feels tender toward himself, experiences a freedom and joy he has never known before This is something I can relate to, both in my professional and personal world it gave me the courage to be like him evenNekhludoff had become so obsessed with the social mirrors that, even when he started to act for Maslova, he kept asking himself if he was really doing all that for his conscience, or to look good in the eyes of others This is so true No matter how hard I try, my old habit of looking into the social mirrors always comes back I loved Tolstoy s insight where he shows how Maslove reasons in favor of her profession , to give a meaning to her life This is something I ve always done about my job of a business consultant, although I know how wrong I am Yet, I have to keep this job to feed mouths.Then Maslova starts to transform during her travel across Siberia, under the influence of those two fellow prisoners, whose opinions become important to her She changes, to live up to their eyes, because she feels they care for her This happened to me too, when I met someone who cared for me In fact, in one novel, Tolstoy has enacted two great resurrections one of Nekhludoff and one of Maslova Now, coming back to the judicial system I absolutely agree with the paragraph where Tolstoy says that those who are the most nervous, strongest, talented, yet the least careful and lacking cunning, fall victim to the judicial systems And, the correctional methods are total misnomers, because they correct nothing only destroy the individual This is a universal phenomenon, as I ve seen How can we correct people, by confining them behind bars, by humiliating them Why call these methods correctional at all Can t we think of better means Let s hope. What starts off as a seduction by a Russian nobleman of a orphan peasant girl , in the late 19th century during the Czarist era , will as pages turn and the flow of life advances into the unknown future , consequences follow, bad or good you the reader must decide Prince Dmitri Nekhlyudov, from Moscow, heir to vast estates is visiting two aunts of his Maria and Sophia, who worship him, in their home in the countryside, they are large landowners too Just nineteen, Dimitri is a student at the university, which he doescarousing than studying, constantly pestering his widowed mother, Princess Elena formoney Katerina Katusha Maslova , very pretty , a few years younger than the Prince has no family except an aunt, Matrona, that isn t involved with her, Katerina s mother , a promiscuous woman gave birth to many children without the benefit of a marriage license And presided over those so carelessly letting them go into the earth gladly, truth be told she forgot to feed the babies Katerina had good fortune though, her mother s sister, that same relative, mentioned before, felt sorry for the child, didn t help, she was so adorable and somehow survived When the two old, lonely ladies the owners of the property fell in love with the baby, they first saw, brought her into their house and raised Katerina As both a servant and daughter, hence the Prince smitten by the girl , wants her as he feels, he has every right to Katerina , at first she resists but after another visit succumbs The cycle begins again an illegitimate son born and dies, and Katerina forced out Men always chase the beautiful woman and she loses servant jobs, the ladies of the house quite insist In the end the only option, becoming a prostitute, but miracles occur, while Maslova is on trial for a crime she didn t commit the surprised Prince is a member of the jury Thus they meet again, ten years later, Dimitri feels remorseful, he will try to help the woman, she doesn t recognize him at first Guilt consumes, he is responsible for the girl s situation, her decent to the bottom, the depravity, coarseness, both smoking, and drinking, just imagine , the ultimate degradation still, the scandalous living in an unrespectable residence too, an innocent woman until he spoiled her.The ruin of Katerina s whole life, all falls on his lap Dimitri has to make amends, nothing else will relief his ceaseless pain Even going to Siberia to aid and try to alleviate the inhuman conditions of the suffering prisoners and particularly Katerina, the woman be loves, he says Nevertheless the convicts die and die His family , start to think this strange behavior may be a sign of a mental breakdown, he is even trying to give the peasants his land in a convoluted way Tolstoy,interested in his philosophy Georgism, from American writer Henry George than deep characterization, in this novel , pontificates his belief that everyone is equal, the lowest to the highest Criminals should be forgiven no matter what they didNot a popular notion today This novel because of its risque material, soldbooks in his lifetime than his two great classics, War and Peace and Anna Kareninathat has changed Ignore the cynics Tolstoy s novel is a moralistic tale, yes, but the finest you are ever going to read Life changing. The whole trouble lies in that people think that there are conditions excluding the necessity of love in their intercourse with man, but such conditions do not exist Things may be treated without love one may chop wood, make bricks, forge iron without love, but one can nodeal with people without love than one can handle bees without careLeo Tolstoy, RessurectionWhile not as big or beautiful as Tolstoy s great, BIG novels War and Peace, Anna Karenina , there is still something grand and beautiful about Resurrection The novel is basically a critique of both organized religion and the injustices of criminal law and justice It tells the story of a noble Nekhlyudov who recognizes a woman Maslova he ruined in his youth while serving on a jury Through careless mistakes, institutional inflexibility, and apathy, Maslova eventually is sentenced to live in Siberia.The novel is the story of Nekhlyudov s journey of abandoning his old life wealth, property, class and following Maslova to Siberia It is a story of Nekhlyudov s search for redemption from his past, his awaking to the reality of how the state and its bureaucracy crushes both the innocent and the poor, and a philosophical examination of how the fundamental s of Christianity are often overlooked by the State and organized religion when people lose sight of the very basic idea of loving other people While reading the novel I was constantly thinking of Ferguson I was wondering how Tolstoy would approach the heavy incarceration rates of black Americans It seems he would write a novel pretty close to the one he wrote in 1899 It is amazing to me how similar our times really are Social injustice seems to always exist That is why you can have Dickens, Tolstoy, Orwell, Sinclair, Baldwin, Steinbeck, etc., all writing about similar themes on different continents and in different eras and they all seem to capture the same mood with the same type of power. Tolstoy is an outstanding writer, a philosopher and an excellent creator of the characters inhabiting the descriptions of their lives, depicting the pathetic situations prevailed in Russia in those days He introduced the moral values and the love of God in his epic Resurrection as the ultimate solution for the reforming of vice that had deep rooted in the people These preachings stand the times over It is said that Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by writings of Tolstoy.If you already read the novel, you cannot forget the characters Katyusha Maslova and Nekhlyudov.Katyusha was born to a poor unmarried lady working in a dairy farm In those days these maids, if they conceive, used to leave the new born babies to starve and die But this baby was taken up by two maiden ladies, owners of a dairy farm, when one of them happened to see her Katyusha Maslova, actually named as Katerina was thus brought up under the care of those maids and later worked as housemaid in their house.It so happens that on one day, Mr Nekhlyudov, a prince, and nephew of the old ladies comes to spend some time with his aunts He was attracted by the beauty of Katyusha and she falls in love with him Nekhlyudov spends a day with her and leaves her.The story starts with a Court case where Nekhlyudov was on the Jury There he recognizes Katyusha Maslova brought for trial for killing Mr.Smelkov for money.Katyusha was sent out of the house of her grandmothers when she was found to conceive after meeting Nekhlyudov She suffers a lot trying to live like any normal lady but everywhere she encounters persons beginning to beset her and making amorous advances to seduce her She reaches a brothel house where she spends time in orgies every night She changes from one brothel to another thus living in this way forthan six years At the instance of the mistress of a brothel house one day she goes to a hotel where Mr Smelkov stays It is alleged that Maslova poisoned him in the hotel for money.From here onwards her trials and turbulations are shared by the repenting Nekhlyudov He tries to get her punishment reduced But he was not successful She was sent to Syberia as a prisoner This was a capital punishment for the prisoners in those days Nekhlyudov, sells away his properties and he also goes with the prisoners party Katyusha first dislikes him when she was reminded of their first meet She realises how she was wronged.But when she understands the struggles Nekhlyudov faced to get her punishment reduced, the property and the royal life that he renounced, she slowly finds a soft corner in her heart Yet she refuses to live with him even when the term of punishment is reduced due to his efforts She did not like to live with the haunting memory of her previous life.On the part of Nekhlyudov, first he feels it was he duty to uplift her from the pathetic life she is living to efface the memory of his sin Later he admires his own remorse and feels self admiration When he understands that Katyusha did not like to live with him, he feels unwanted and ashamed His concern now is shifted to the prisoners who are suffering in the prisons without any basic amenities He thinks of the corrupt administration, the horrible life led by the prisoners, the silly reasons in many cases where people are imprisoned for no fault He tries to find out philosophically what was the reason for all this He feels that the people who preach morality and righteousness are really evil Vicious men were trying to reform other vicious men and that too by using mechanical means The persons in the profession of punishment and reformation of the guilty, themselves became corrupt and went on corrupting those whom they tormented That is why things could not be set right But still the order in the society existed not because of these lawful criminals who judged and punished others, but because men still pitied and loved one another.Ultimately he finds his solace and also his goal from Bible People should abide by the five laws of Bible preached by Christ One that man should not kill and not even be angry with his fellow men Secondly he should not commit adultery nor enjoy in the beauty of woman If once he comes close with a woman he should not be faithless to her The third is that man should not bind himself by oath The fourth law is that man should forgive for any wrong done to him and should bear it humbly He should not refuse service that is desired of him The fifth one is that man should not hate his enemies but love them, help them and serve them.If man starts obeying these laws the kingdom of God will be established on earth.The message Tolstoy gives is very valuable even in these present day circumstances Humanity existed only because of love and not hatred. I have NO idea why this book is less popular then War and Peace or Anna Karenina Zero ideas Look at goodreaders AK 25,866 ratings, WaP 11,258 ratings, Resurrection 691 ratings This is so unfair I would never risk to write an actual review on this text, but reading it was one of the biggest turning points in my life at some point. Dear Tolstoy I heart you.Love,El.I had some reservations about reading this book because I knew going into it that it was the last novel he wrote, and I know that in his later years he became especially religious and it showed in his writing, and jeez, do we really needof that sort of preachiness Apparently we do Resurrection isn t as popular as Tolstoy s other two major novels, Anna Karenina and War and Peace, nor is it as long as those others Apparently when it was first published, however, it outsold both Anna Karenina and War and Peace before its popularity waned over the years I ll agree that it s not as broad in scope or vision, but the story itself still managed to intrigue me.When Prince Nekhlyudov is called to serve on a jury, he realizes that one of the accused is Katusha Maslova, a woman he recognizes from his younger days She had served as a maid in his house, at which time he was a pig, seduced her, and abandoned her after she lost her job because of it, and she had to prostitute herself in order to survive It s through this new occupation that she is arrested and tried for murder Nekhlyudov realizes a bit melodramatically that had he not treated her the way he had, she would not have come to this end He spends his time trying to save her from being sent to Siberia, knowing that she could not possibly have done what she was accused of doing.Unlike Anna Karenina and War and Peace, Resurrection takes place primarily in the prison, or in Nekhlyudov s immediate surroundings The focus is on him for the most part as he struggles with the realization that there s an entire other side to life than he has been aware of all these years, that things aren t quite as rosy as they have been for him as an aristocrat He s guilty in the way he has lived and strives to make the world a better place by changing society however he can A bit of an idealist, that Nekhlyudov, but then it seems everyone goes through a phase like that in their life.Some of the complaints I ve seen about this book is the heavy handed nature of Tolstoy s writing He was on a mission with this book, and it s pretty apparent in the writing, particularly in the last 75 100 pages or so Tolstoy s characters all had beef with some group or another, and they at one time or another take shots at criminals, landowners and aristocrats, peasants and the poor, the penal system, Russians, Christians, Germans, suffragettes, Nihilists, Socialists, etc Nekhlyudov spends a considerable amount of time talking with different people and discussing arguing their beliefs in his effort to see how the other part of society lives For the first time in his life the rose tinted glasses have come off and he s aware of the social changes that needed to be made, and he absolutely became a mouthpiece for Tolstoy s personal opinions on how the incarcerated are treated But for some reason I didn t find it distracting.Probably because Tolstoy could puke on a piece of paper, put a cover on it, and I would read it.As Occupy Wall Street has become such a huge social campaign in our own time, I couldn t help but read Tolstoy with that in the back of my mind I believe he would have plenty to say about the movement Forgive me, but that is not so every thief knows that stealing is wrong and that he ought not to steal that stealing is wicked, said Rogozhinsky, with a calm, self assured, slightly contemptuous smile which specially irritated Nekhlyudov No, he does not You tell him Don t steal and he sees the factory owners stealing his labour by keeping back his wages he knows that the Government, with all its officials, never stops robbing him by means of taxes This sounds like anarchism, Rogozhinsky said, quietly defining the meaning of his brother in law s words I don t know what it sounds like I only know what happens, Nekhlyudov continued He knows that the Government robs him he knows that we land proprietors robbed him long ago when we took the land which ought to be common property And now if he gathers a few sticks from that stolen land to light his fire we clap him in gaol and tell him he s a thief Of course he knows that not he but the man who robbed him of the land is the thief, and that ever restitution of what has been stolen from him is a duty he owes to his family What strikes me the most is just how little issues have changed apparently Russian society in 1899 isn t all that different from American society in 2011, and that s actually a pretty depressing thought. At half the size of War and Peace and two thirds the length of Anna Karenina Tolstoy s Resurrection is every bit as epic, and probably his most controversial novel that appears to have strong political and religious implications as the backbone to the story, and what a story A later Novel for Tolstoy written in 1899 under the leadership of Tsar Nicholas II and an empire repressing political opposition in the centre and on the far left Starting out as a courtroom drama we soon get drawn into a hugely deep and moving narrative of an unjust system of criminal law, poverty and wealth at each end of the spectrum and one man s personally crusade of redemption for a life lived where he uses his high position in society to take advantage of others.That man is Prince Dmitri Nekhlyudov who after being called for jury duty discovers to his horror one of three persons on trial is Katyusha, a beautiful young lady who he once seduced and then cruelly abandoned during his time in the armed services He learns of her plight working in a brothel where she may or may not have been set up to poison a client to steal money, so Nekhlyudov is sent back into the past to realise that he really did love her and soon wants to know as much as possible about the case to try and get her acquitted as he is burdened with guilt for what she had become Convinced she is innocent of her crime he goes about in any way possible to try and save her as it s harsh labour in Siberia the likely outcome if charged, even willing to give up his life of luxury to be by Katyusha s side regardless of any outcome and to take her hand in marriage, for which she refuses Nekhlyudov uses his prestige as a well thought of man to try and shake up the foundations of scathing injustice, corruption and hypocrisy at the top level of society The psychological portrait of Dmitri is quite outstanding as we see him change from an empty, comfortable individual to a man of steely resolute and emotion The squalid conditions and other prisoners stories he hears while visiting Katyusha awaiting her fate are just not fair in his eyes and starts to help others as well As for Katyusha she is difficult to read, she doesn t really care for her own injustices any and tends to use Nekhlyudov for the benefit of other inmates, spending time locked up has clearly effected her mind and the Prince see s a completely changed person from the one that he once knew Using a vast array of deeply drawn characters we get a panoramic view of Russian life, from pheasants, convicts and aristocrats, to wealthy politicians, prison guards and lawyers both defending and prosecuting Tolstoy is such a great storyteller, mixing gritty realism with compassionate kindhearted warmth Two things that make Resurrection an almost perfect novel is his gift at Characterization and also fluid writing, as this makes it really hard to find a suitable place to stop reading It doesn t have the pace of an intense thriller but is in no way a slow burner either, it s just about spot on, and the novel as a whole is no doubt a Russian masterpiece Also have to give penguin classics a lot of credit as this version is impeccable, with a great introduction, bonus material and a wonderful translation by Anthony Briggs who has worked on other Russian classics. `Read ☛ Воскресение ↶ ResurrectionIs The Last Of Tolstoy S Major Novels It Tells The Story Of A Nobleman S Attempt To Redeem The Suffering His Youthful Philandering Inflicted On A Peasant Girl Who Ends Up A Prisoner In Siberia Tolstoy S Vision Of Redemption, Achieved Through Loving Forgiveness And His Condemnation Of Violence, Dominate The Novel An Intimate, Psychological Tale Of Guilt, Anger, And Forgiveness, Resurrection Is At The Same Time A Panoramic Description Of Social Life In Russia At The End Of The Nineteenth Century, Reflecting Its Author S Outrage At The Social Injustices Of The World In Which He Lived This Edition, Which Updates A Classic Translation, Has Explanatory Notes, And A Substantial Introduction Based On The Most Recent Scholarship In The Field