Resurrection, Tolstoy’s last novel, is the story of the nobleman, Nekludof and the prostitute, Katusha. Katusha is condemned to hard labor in Siberia for murder, but Nekludof, a member of her jury, recognizes her as the girl that he seduced and ruined as a youth. He feels responsible for her fate, and he works to redeem her, and then, eventually, recognizing his own sin and degradation, to redeem himself.
“Men are like rivers: the water is the same in each, and alike in all; but every river is narrow here, more rapid there, here slower, there broader, now clear, now cold, now dull, now warm. It is the same with men. Every man bears in himself the germs of every human quality; but sometimes one quality manifests itself, sometimes another, and the man often becomes unlike himself, while still remaining the same man.”
“To understand the whole of the Master’s will is not in my power. But to do His will that is written in my conscience is in my power.”
“The interest of her whole life lay in searching for opportunities to serve others just as the sportsman searches for game. And the sport had become the habit, the business, of her life, and she did it so naturally that those who knew her were no longer grateful, but simply expected it of her.”
The last quote describes Engineer Husband in some ways; not me, however much I might wish to be a joyful and habitual servant.