Tolstoy Marathon # 2 : The Candle by Leo Tolstoy

thecandle  “…We all know that it is wrong to kill a good man, but even God would take that way the life of such a dog as he is. It is our duty, if we have any love for mankind, to shoot a dog that  is mad. It is a sin to let him live. If, therefore, w e are to suffer at all, let it be in the interests of the people…”

-Leo Tolstoy, The Candle

An uprising among the serfs is about to break out when the lords of  the land   keep on turning their  backs on their human rights.  One serf  has at last spoken up due to the arrant cruelties he has  experienced suggests that Michael Simeonovitch, the superintendent, be killed. But Peter Michayeff, a pacifist,  stopped them , for commiting such a crime leads to condemnation. Paranoid he may be, Michael sends an elder man to spy on the secret rancorous meeting  of the serfs. When the elder man reports to the superintendent, Michael  realizes , with the  insistent platitude  of his wife, that he is prone to perdition. To change the life he leads, he goes to the village to reconcile. Unfortunately, he falls off his  horse and dies. Upon hearing the horrible accident and the cruelties befall  the serfs , the noblemen freed their serfs.

“ The power of God is manifested not in Evil, but in goodness. “

The story deals with   cruelties among the slaves with their suppressed feelings they can no longer stand, a factor which can trigger revolutionary act; the moral question when it is an evil  to kill a person;  or when  the humility  or turning –the-other-cheek  biblical teaching  is a perpetually necessary mean to put an end to an animalistic  slavery; and  all in all, how God plays a role in such a  realistic scene of human life.

Rating: 3/5 stars



  1. With out religion, men will be more barbarous. The religion changes and shows him a right patch. Even though some heads of religions preach some dogmas but not religion it helps people avoid some misdeeds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughts of it.

      ” …but not religion it helps people avoid some misdeeds.” I hope this point is not a delusional and illusional hypothesis. You may not be aware of that there are some atheists out there living as morally as you believe religious people do.


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