Many of Man's struggles are usually the result of societal standards, control, and punishment. These struggles are present in both One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Through setting and internal monologue, both authors depict the effects of the brutalities of communism on Man's spirituality.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich demonstrates the brutalities of communism as symbolized by the brotherhood of men inside a forced labor prison camp in Siberia. The underlining theme of a Soviet backed camp system reflects both communism's contributing influence to the novellas internal monologue and setting. Not understanding the novella's present system of government would not give the reader a full appreciation of the text. The role of communism within this story is vital in both reading and understanding the novella. Further insight and discussion of communism?s influence seems without question, necessary.
Solzhenitsyn's first book, this economical, relentless novella is one of the most forceful artistic writings of political oppression in the Stalin-era Soviet Union. The simply told story in the setting of a typical, grueling day of the character's life in a labor camp in Siberia, is a modern classic of Russian literature and quickly cemented Solzhenitsyn's international reputation upon publication in 1962. It is painfully apparent that Solzhenitsyn himself spent time in the gulags.
He was imprisoned for nearly a decade as punishment for making criticizing statements about Stalin in a letter to a friend. This motif of communist oppression is reflected both in the authors life and, his writings in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is a powerful book. Were it merely the grim testimonial to life in the Soviet Gulags or a witness to infringed liberties, its force would be staggering. Were it a testimony to the rigors and cruelness of human nature, it would be crushing. As it is, it shatters our perception of man and ourselves as no other book, besides perhaps Anne Franke`s diary and the testimony of Elie Wiesl, could ever have done. The prisoners of the labor camp, as in Shukhov?s predicament, were required to behave as Soviets or face severe punishment. In an almost satirical tone Buinovsky exclaims to the squadron that ?You?re not behaving like Soviet People,? and went on saying, ?You?re not behaving like communist.? (28) This type of internal monologue clearly persuades a tone of aggravation and sarcasm directly associated to the oppression?s of communism.
As a former naval captain, Buinovsky is used to being an authority figure. He acts like he is still a captain. He rebukes Fetiukov for picking up other people's cigarette butts. Fetiukov retorts that Buinovsky, too, will soon give in to groveling. Senka, who is deaf, thinks that they are talking about the Captain getting ten days in the guardhouse for insulting...