Story Analysis of ‘God Sees The Truth But Waits’ by Leo Tolstoy


Short Story Of The Day

Today, we will read God Sees The Truth But Waits, one of the short stories written by Leo Tolstoy. You can read the short story online and get Leo Tolstoy short stories pdf free download here. 

About The Author

Leo Tolstoy is a Russian author considered among the greatest authors of all time. He’s been nominated several times for the Novel Prize in Literature and Peace categories for several years but never won and considered a highly controversial omission. Tolstoy’s famous works include War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and he’s written over a dozen short stories, several novellas, plays, and essays. He has been a significant influence on the lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Story Analysis

God Sees The Truth But Waits by Leo Tolstoy is a poignant story that explores the theme of universal love.  

Does Leo Tolstoy justify the title God Sees The Truth But Waits?

Let’s explore! 

Ivan Dmitrich Aksionov sets out on a journey despite his wife’s insistence that he doesn’t travel due to her premonition. He is soon falsely charged for murder and imprisoned for twenty-six long years. Even his wife doubts his innocence and moves on with her life with their children. 

Then Aksionov realizes that no one else except God knows the truth, and it is in Him that he must place all trust and hope.

Aksionov earns the love and respect of his peers in the jail as they seek his counsel on all issues. They also choose him to be their mediator between them and the jail authorities.

Years later, Aksionov meets Makar Semyonich, the new prisoner, and soon realizes that he is the real murderer. Engulfed with rage, Aksionov is restless about his next course of action.

Meanwhile, he catches Semyonich red-handed, building an escape tunnel. Semyonich threatens him with dire consequences, to which Aksionov replies he’s been robbed of his life years ago and couldn’t care any less about it. 

When the authorities discover the escape tunnel, the prisoners feign ignorance about the culprit out of fear of Semyonich. When it comes to Aksionov’s turn, he doesn’t reveal his name to the authorities even though he’s not scared of Semyonich.

That night, Semyonich confesses his crime to Aksionov and begs for his pardon. He volunteers to confess to the authorities about his past crime for which Aksionov was falsely imprisoned. By the time he does so, Aksionov is dead. 

So, does Leo Tolstoy justify the title of the story God Sees The Truth But Waits?


The story which is about divine justice has a clear message about taking a moral stand – to choose love, grace, and forgiveness over hatred. Aksionov might have been physically dead at the end, but his evolution as a human being set him free forever in the spiritual realm. 

God Sees The Truth But Waits by Leo Tolstoy is a deep, philosophically rich story that reminds you of the mortality and futility of life and the preparation for the real journey thereafter. 

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Tina Sequeira
Tina Sequeira is a marketer and moonlighting writer. She is passionate about tech, creativity, and social justice—dabbling in and writing about the same.

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