Analysis of Voice in Ivan Denisovitch

Essay by PabloBRHigh School, 12th gradeA, October 2014

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Pablo Boteyo

Kevin Campbell

English IV AP - 8

12 April 2013

And Just like Solzhenitsyn, He too was Isolated

Just as Ivan Denisovich Shukhov spends 3,653 days in a Gulag work camp, so did his creator - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, thus the story of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was realized. Before becoming a Nobel author, Solzhenitsyn wrote in secret using pseudonyms to write slander against his government. Out of convenience, the aspiring author then became a math and physics teacher in the U.S.A. after imprisonment for said slander. Written in secret, Solzhenitsyn dared not to publish, or let anyone read his tales. Convinced he would never see his name on a published work, Solzhenitsyn kept writing in secret until he grew weary of it. Finally, the Russian government allowed for Denisovich's publishing in 1962. Solzhenitsyn finally saw his name in ink on a work, as well as told his story through words that lugged along the pain and agony he felt.

This novella, set in a barren, tundra-like camp, gives insight into the vexatious life of the inmates, "zeks", in one single day. It creates a somber thematic purpose stating that though circumstances can deter identity, one should thrive to stay true to oneself. It thoroughly displays the plight caused by extreme circumstances that lead to the testament of Ivan's will to not only stay alive, but rather keep an identity. Through the thoughts in his head of his own existentialist crises, Shukhov exemplifies the thematic purposes of this novella by simply going through routine. This plight drives the novel as a whole, as well as creates a memorandum of the tortuous life in the Gulag camps. Solzhenitsyn, as a man who has experienced this first hand, becomes an advocate of his political beliefs...