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Synopsis

The last novel written by Tolstoy, "Resurrection" was first published in 1899 amidst huge anticipation. What surprised the world was Tolstoy's story of a guilt-ridden nobleman, haunted by the sins of his past and seeking a way to atone for them. The aristocratic Prince Dmitri Ivanovich Nekhlyudov serves on a jury of a murder trial, only to discover that the accused prostitute is Maslova, a maid he seduced and abandoned years before. Though he comes to realize that Maslova was framed, she is sent to Siberia, and in his attempts to help her, he discovers a new world of squalid prisons, oppression, and misery. Dmitri finally sees a comprehensive vista of Russian life, much more a nightmare than the pleasant dream he has known, which begins his convoluted struggle with responsibility and morals. Tolstoy criticizes the complacency of the government and judicial system, as well as the hypocrisy of religion and the upper classes, in a powerful denunciation. All the while, he reveals the greatest depths of a guilty man and the lengths he can and does take for redemption.

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