One of Tolstoy's greatest books, Resurrection traces the conflict of pride and affection between Katusha, a prostitute charged with murder, and her first lover, Nekhludov, who serves on the jury at her trial. Prince Nekhludov recognizes her as the innocent young girl he once loved, seduced, and abandoned. Through his attempts to alter the course of her fate, Nekhludov discovers the hypocrisy of his own atonement—and begins the journey to personal resurrection.
The setting of Resurrection is the Russian underworld. Tolstoy turns a critical eye on the law, the penal system, and especially the Church. With its theme of fallen man and a non-Christian process of regeneration, the novel presents a panorama of Russian life at the end of the nineteenth century— shot through with spiritual intensity and material deprivation.
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