It has been Russian writers in particular, who for two centuries have struggled against censorship and oppression to accomplish two great tasks: to create innovative and meaningful art, and to use that art to make a statement about a specifically Russian predicament. So often the theme was political, and so many generations of Russians criticised Mother Russia for her backward ways. Vissarion Belinsky's caustic admonitions in his "Letter to Gogol" were long a rallying cry for writers: "This is why, especially among us, universal attention is paid...to every manifestation of any so-called liberal trend, no matter how poor the writer's gifts...The public...sees in Russian writers its only leaders, defenders and saviours from dark autocracy, Orthodoxy, and the national way of life." This conditional existence was the inheritance of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who followed the great Russian tradition of the intelligentsia. To awaken Russia's people and illuminate for them the deep recesses of a world which is yet unknown to them, this was, I believe, the greater part of why he chose to write One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, and for it to be published first in Russia.
Solzhenitsyn's intent on writing One Day could never have been solely literary. If that were so, he would have chosen a safe topic, instead of one of the uttermost dangerous, forbidden subjects of the day. He chose an open attack on Stalin's penal system. Continuing to write in this vein eventually caused his expulsion from the Union of Soviet Writers. His expulsion made it impossible for him to earn a living as a writer where within his country. No...
... middle of paper ...
...s during the twentieth century. Every blast of cold, every scrape of hunger or wince of pain the reader experiences through the the book is but a wisp, in respect to the endurance, sickness, and deaths of Stalin's million-headed vicitm; Russia, the ancient nation, was being slaughtered. Solzhenitsyn witnessed the massacre, knew the blade's sharpness by his own trials, and rose up to meet its edge.
Labedze, Leopold. Solzhenitsyn: A Documentary Record. Harper and Row Publishers, New York. 1971.
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
Smith, Hedrick. The New Russians. Random House, New York. 1990.
Vissarion Belinsky, "Open Letter to Gogol", 15 July 1847.
Remnick, David. Resurrection: The Struggle For a New Russia. Random House, New York. 1997.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Theme of Hope in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich In Alexander Solzhenitsyn's novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the strong themes of hope and perseverance are undercut by the realization that for Ivan there is little or no purpose in life. This is not to say that the themes of hope and perseverance do not exist in the novel. There are numerous instances in the novel where Shukhov is filled with hope. However, these moments of hope amidst the banal narrative of the novel raise the interesting question: Are these moments of hope pointless? The answer to this question may lie more in the individual human nature of the reader than in Solzhenits... [tags: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Essays]
3060 words (8.7 pages)
- Tradition in One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich Explicitly, old habits die hard. People are configurations of time, place, and events preceding their life. History is studied to get a better sense of self and to recognize the contributions of other humans to the world in which we live. Traditions transcend verbally, physically, and emotionally through generations, making it difficult, if not impossible, to ostracize them from our being. In One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, tradition is dissected through the dichotomy of traditional versus post-modernist views portrayed by characters forced to serve, or monitor, time in a Soviet prison camp.... [tags: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Essays]
611 words (1.7 pages)
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: Deeper into the Character When Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in 1962, he crossed political barriers in his explanation of the Siberian prison camp. Through his character Ivan Denisovich, Solzhenitsyn shows us a normal day in the camp. The book has no chapters, so it is like the reader is spending the day with Ivan. Through this day, he tells of the people, the life conditions, what things are to be done and what things are not to be done.... [tags: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Essays]
674 words (1.9 pages)
- Man's Tragedy in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch Solzhenitsyn's turning to history has extremely important consequences for his total literary heritage. As he himself has said, "Literature that is not the very breath of contemporary society does not deserve the name of literature." To be true literature, "the pain and fears of society must be held before it, society must be warned against the moral and social dangers which threaten it." History to Solzhenitsyn, as to Leo Tolstoy, is the theater and the arena in which the abominations as well as the glories of human behavior are revealed at their most powerful and on the grandest scale.... [tags: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Essays]
987 words (2.8 pages)
- Character Situations in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich In One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn creates many characters that are memorable to the reader because of both their personal situations and their responses to those situations. Through characters such as Ivan Shukhov Denisovich, Fetyukov, Aloyska the Baptist, and the two Estonians, Solzhenitsyn explores the varied reactions of the characters and the effect of these reactions on other characters' perceptions of them.... [tags: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Essays]
582 words (1.7 pages)
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Faith Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is a professed Christian. However, according to some critics, this does not necessarily make his writings "Christian" (Schmemann 39). Biblical principles can clearly be identified in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. They can be seen through Solzhenitsyn's views on the world as a divine creation, the nature of evil, and faith in the future. The Christian faith is rooted in the belief that God created everything, and that it is good.... [tags: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Essays]
596 words (1.7 pages)
- The Siberian Work Camp and One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich In Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn describes in three volumes the Russian prison system known as the gulag. That work, like Kafka's The Trial, presents a culture and society where there is no justice - in or out of court. Instead, there is a nameless, faceless, mysterious bureaucracy that imposes its will upon the people, coercing them to submit to the will of the state or face prison or death. In One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich, we are presented with exactly what the titles tells us, one day in the life of Ivan Denisovich. However, Ivan Denisovich spends his days in the gulag in Siberia, freezing... [tags: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Essays]
1959 words (5.6 pages)
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch Literary Techniques Alexander Solzhenitsyn's style of writing is economical and unornamental. This is particularly true of One Day. This would seemingly cause little difficulty in translating One Day were it not for the great amount of prison jargon contained in the dialogues and discussion of life in the camp. The author's motto might well be, "wie es eigentlich gewesen," or "tell it like it is." In believing as he does in honest realism and not the propaganda slogan of "socialist realism," Solzhenitsyn wishes to render the real-life situations he describes in so many of his writings-but especially in One Day-in real-life lang... [tags: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Essays]
1005 words (2.9 pages)
- There are many definitions of the term "freedom." Some will say that to be free one must be allowed to do as one pleases in terms of one's physical body, while others will say that one must only be able to think to be truly free. Yet another group will argue that both aspects must be present for true freedom to exist. In many of his books, but specifically One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn deals with the idea that the mind is not truly free. He believed that since there is an inherent desire for approval within the human race, any thoughts that agree with the values of society cannot be deemed free thinking since the thinker could simply be searching for approval... [tags: One Day Life Ivan Denisovich Essays Papers]
621 words (1.8 pages)
- Strength of the Human Spirit Revealed in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Life can be incredibly hard at times; nearly everyone encounters a period of time when circumstances become unbearably difficult. Imagine being assigned to ten years of unceasing and tremendous hardships, as is the plight of the protagonist in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. This book describes in detail only one day of Ivan's ten-year sentence in a Russian work camp in the 1950's.... [tags: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Essays]
1086 words (3.1 pages)