Ivan Denisovich Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Is Term Paper

Total Length: 1925 words ( 6 double-spaced pages)

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They sank without a trace. No point in telling the family which gang you worked in and what your foreman, Andrei Prokofyevich Tyurin, was like. Nowadays you had more to say to Kildigs, the Latvian, than to the folks at home." (Solzhenitsyn, 1963) Thus, from this point-of-view, Shukhov's attitude changed, as he realizes that despite everything else, the collectivity he had to relate to was now made up of prisoners such as himself.

However, such pressures do not alter Shukhov's behavior. He refuses to become entrenched in the barbarities that soon take over the behavior of those imprisoned. Thus, he keeps on following certain basic civilized rules of conduct, as he insists on removing his cap at the table, no matter how hungry he is.

Also, Shukhov, in his attempt to maintain his spirit alive, surpasses the everyday talk about food and the hardships of the prison, thus addressing issues that reach the philosophical side of his personality, he engages in discussions about faith with one of his fellow prisoners, Alyoshka; however, this can be seen as yet another means used by Solzhenitsyn to indirectly point out his own ideas about religion and its role in offering the inner peace one needs to survive an oppressive system. The author may have chosen this path for expressing his thoughts as a means of avoiding the criticism of the Political Police in Russia which would not have tolerated direct mention of the beneficial power of religious faith seeing that the communist system denied the liberty of free expression.
However, despite the difficulties suffered throughout the day, the end of the novel points out a rather serene attitude, as it has been "almost a happy day." Shukhov has "three thousand six hundred and fifty-three days like that in his stretch. The extra three days were for leap years." (Solzhenitsyn, 1963) This adds to the belief that indeed, Shukhov would manage to keep his human side intact, through refusing to admit to primitive urges and lean on a spiritual peace which faith offers.

All in all, Solzhenitsyn's novel addresses a common subject while trying to point out two different perspectives. On the one hand, it offers the historical reality of the communist regime, through all the references and understatements made throughout; on the other hand, it deals with a philosophical challenge which questions man's ability to keep his own humanity in an environment that forces people towards uniformity both in behavior and thought.

Bibliography

Solzhenitsyn, Alexander. One day in the life of Ivan….....

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