by Leo Tolstoy translated by Aylmer Maude
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
A Poison Tree
- William Blake
In “A Poison Tree,” a speaker allows their hatred and anger to grow, like a poisonous tree.Pair “A Poison Tree” with “God Sees the Truth, But Waits” and ask students to discuss how anger and bitterness can grow. How does the anger that Aksionov initially feels when he realizes who framed him negatively affect him? What do students think would have happened if he had “watered” and “sunned” his wrath, as the speaker of the poem did? What was he able to accomplish by forgiving Makar?
It’s For You to Know That You Forgive, Says Holocaust Survivor
- NPR, "All Things Considered"
Holocaust survivor Eva Kor meets former Nazi on trial, and offers powerful words about forgiveness, taking back power, and how to move forward.Pair “It’s For You to Know That You Forgive, Says Holocaust Survivor” with “God Sees the Truth, But Waits” and ask students to discuss the nature of forgiveness in each text. Why did Eva Mozes Kor, a Holocaust survivor, decide to forgive a Nazi? How does this compare to Aksionov’s decision to forgive the one who framed him? What did granting this forgiveness do for Kor and Aksionov?
The Two Brothers
- Leo Tolstoy
Two brothers disagree about how to expand the impact of their charity work.Pair “The Two Brothers” with “God Sees the Truth, But Waits” to provide students with another short story by Leo Tolstoy. Ask students to compare the theme of each text. How does Tolstoy help his characters find the right path through religion? Based on the two stories, what do students think Tolstoy’s opinion about religion was?
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short story “Cell One,” a girl’s brother is arrested and is changed by the injustices he witnesses in prison.Pair “God Sees the Truth, But Waits” with “Cell One” and ask students to discuss the injustices explored in the two texts. How does Aksionov’s experiences with the justice system compare to the experiences of the old man in “Cell One”? How do Aksionov and the old man impact other important characters in the two short stories? Why do students think the other characters are so strongly impacted by Aksionov and the old man?