Hadji Murad

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    In his final novel, Hadji Murat, Tolstoy depicts the Caucasian campaigns of the mid 19th century, condemning Nicholas I’s attacks on the Islamic people of the region, as well as the tsar’s use of violence in general. However, Tolstoy also criticizes the Islamic leader Imam Shamil, even drawing some comparisons between Shamil and the tsar. In this sense, Tolstoy condemns the Russians but in doing so does not condone the leaders of the Islamic people; rather his criticism focuses on violence and cruelty as traits that can be seen in different forms of authority. This is exemplified in the character of Hadji Murat, torn between these two sides and ultimately destroyed because of them. From the novel’s introduction, there is clear evidence…

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    An important observation made in this short novella is the interaction between the Russians represented by Tsar I and his officials, the Cossacks represented by Haji Murad and his murids and finally the Muslims represented by Imam Shamil. The Cossacks were considered to be "semi-independent Tartar groups, which formed in the Dnieper region," (Britannica). Historically, relationship between the Cossacks and the Russians are characterized as a tumultuous at times but most of the time they were…

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