One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich..reveiw

Essay by starlaxoUniversity, Bachelor's March 2004

download word file, 11 pages 5.0

alexsander Solzhenitsyn's novel sander Solzhenitsyn's novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich chronicles one man's struggle for survival in a harsh Siberian labor camp. After World War II, many Russian men were put into Siberian prison camps under false charges. Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, imprisoned for alleged treason against the Soviet government, is one of these men. He is a strong man, determined to live out his sentence and to be free. The primary theme in this novel is the endurance of humanity and fight for survival. This theme is known throughout the world and touches many people close to heart; survival is a fight every human must take part in, although ones fight is much easier than others.

The novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is obviously intentionally not written as a sensational story. It concentrates on one man, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, as he attempts to survive another day in a Soviet concentration camp with dignity and humanity.

One would think that since it was written during a time of turmoil and oppression it would be a political indictment, however I found it to be more than that. Its power derives from its depiction of a man retaining his humanity under inhumane conditions. All through this novel, the theme of human survival is present. My definition of survival is successfully making it through a certain circumstance. Solzhenitsyn uses the characters in the novel to show this theme by their behavior, reactions, and their own actions. He also used setting to help display and develop the theme in the novel, by giving the impression of eerie, hopeless, and angry feelings in his settings, by using such places as the sick room, and the work site. Even in the direst situations, the character of Shukhov (as well...