One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

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One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

The book I chose to do my book report on is "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich". The book is about the most forceful indictments of political oppression in the Stalin era Soviet Union. It is a captiving story about the life in a Siberian labor camp, related to the point of view of Ivan Denisovich, a prisoner. It takes place in a span of one day, "from dawn till dusk" (pg. 111) . This book also describes his struggles and emotional stress that he must going through.

This book explains a single day in Ivan Denisovichs live in a Siberian prison camp. The story is taking place during Joseph Stalin's Red Terror program between 1945 and 1953. But I think this specific day is in no case different from any other ones of his possible 25 year prison term.

Actually the story does not have a clear plot, but it describes each event of one day. Unordinary seems to be ordinary. By using each specific detail, he enables the reader to get a reliable visual picture. It's a review of a day in a prison camp. And especially orders play an important rule in a prisoners life. It begins with "'Sleep's over' " (pg. 37), after that "the escort began shouting: ' Get a move on ! ' (pg. 41)". The prisoners must work "11 hours" inside a power station, "slapping in some […] mortar" (pg. 95). This punishment is being interrupted by "magara […] that damned 'Chinese' oatmeal " (pg. 29). Finally in the evening the prisoner must "bear in the icy wind" (pg. 123), while the guards are looking for a Moldavian Fugitive. At the end some couple of hours remain until 22:00 for the prisoners own life.

Shukhov, alias Ivan Denisovich is the protagonist in the book. He is instructing his squad 104th...

... middle of paper ... must have been enormous, but despite his family living thousands of kilometers in probably poor conditions away from him, he is surviving mentally this term. I would give up completely all my hope and would die in this camp.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn knows very well how to create an exciting and wonderful visual picture of the nature in the reader's mind. "One chills to the 17°-below-zero cold of Siberia" or "the peaks her highest stand" are only some sentences, describing the landscape. I really like to analyze the Russian winter, which is sometimes ironically very sunny and dry, but at the same time bitter cold. Especially, when the stars are shining the frost gets more and more into our skin.

(Un)Fortunately here in Western Washington our winters are in average more wetter and milder.


One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
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