"One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Essay by FiXiuSHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2003

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"Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." In the story of One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the people in the story are fighting their own hard battle. The person in this story that is fighting a hard battle is Ivan Denisovich. The story takes place in Siberia inside a "special" prison camp in Siberia. The book discusses about how a man faced a day in this "special" camp.

Ivan Denisovich is a former carpenter who was sent off to war in World War II. After being captured by the enemy, he and his fellow comrade escape and returns back to his squad. His comrade however was not so lucky, while entering their squad's camp, the guards mistakes the two for enemies and shoots Ivan's friend. When he returns to his camp, his Russian leaders believe that he was sent back by the enemy as a spy for information about military movements and other things that may help.

Had his fellow escapee still have been alive, Stalin's supersensitive secret police might have let him go. However, he was sent to a "special" camp where people who committed treason went to work and construct buildings. Ivan is serving his ten-year term for "treason."

We start the story as the prisoners are awakened to the raucous sound of a hammer hitting a steel rail. Ivan does not get up immediately as he usually does. Instead, because he feels sick, he tries to stay in bed for as long as he can and hopes to get on the sick list. A guard who witnesses Ivan's slow movements pretends to take him away for punishment for his tardiness. On the contrary, the guard only wants Ivan to clean the floor of the guardroom.