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Beyond the Pale

Satisfactory Essays
In the novella, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, we meet him Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, a Soviet soldier during his eighth year at a harsh Siberian labor camp. He is an average man demoted to a number, an average man consumed past, present, and future by trivial matters of sustenance. However, he, and the world around him is more complex than at first glance. Although Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s story uses plain language and sometimes-monotonous scenes, Solzhenitsyn’s use of external elements, which come about as we are escorted through Shukhov’s day, help optimize characterization, theme development, and make more interesting story.
The first way Solzhenitsyn develops characters and theme is through the nicknames of which he assigns to important members in Ivan’s squad. Their nicknames serve as their response to the gulag— their way of coping to new life; these responses encompass many groups and types of people and thus serve as overarching themes that resurface throughout the book. Examples of this are Alyosha the Baptist, Fetyukov the Jackal, the Estonians, and Tsezar whose n...
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