The Clemency of the Court

"The Clemency of the Court" is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published on 26 October 1893 in The Hesperian.[1]

Title explanation

The title refers to Serge's being in prison for the rest of his life rather than being given the death penalty.

Plot summary

Serge, a man who was brought up by a Russian woman after his mother died, kills the babushka's husband after he kills Serge's dog. Serge is then sent to a borstal. The story ends with the rationale that even though life was tough in Russia, the United States cares for their children no better.



  1. Willa Cather's Collected Short Fiction, University of Nebraska Press; Rev Ed edition, 1 Nov 1970, page 540

External links

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