This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Morals Vs. Selfishness Essay

1800 words - 8 pages

One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is not a book about a superhuman. It is not a story about someone who is weaker and more desperate than everyone else. It is not a tale of greatness, nor is it about extraordinary faults. Instead, Aleksander Solzhenitsyn chose to center his story around Ivan denisovich Shukhov, an average, unnoticeable Russian prisoner.
Shukhov is a likeable and yet somewhat naïve fellow who is just like everybody else. In fact, what really makes this book remarkable is not Shukhov himself. What makes it special is that, even though at first glance the story may seem to be about Shukhov, it is actually a tale of events and common occurrences that could happen to anyone. The book is not just a detail of one day in the life of Ivan, it is a relatable story of what could happen to anyone shoved into a Russian prison camp. Ivan’s life in the book is shown to be nothing more than a picture of the thousands of lives that were lost or destroyed in the Stalinist camps. Ivan Denisovich Shukhov is not one character, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov is the picture of “anyman.” Using the depiction of the beliefs, hopes, and need to survive that would arise in a common prisoner Solzhenitsyn creates a story of the victory of humane principles over corruption.
Solzhenitsyn uses many techniques and skills in his book to portray an accurate representation of “anyman.” The first of these is Shukov’s meager means of endurance. In the book there are many prisoners and workers in the camp and they are all connected by one thing: the need for survival. Of course, there is no one way to survive and as the people in the camp live out their days in prison they must each figure out how they will endure.
First, the camp’s “free” workers must find their own way of making it from one day to the next. Most of them do so by cutting corners and stealing what they can. Whenever they have the chance the free workers will take anything possible from the prisoners. For instance, the prisoners must carry their bowls with them wherever they go because “they couldn’t leave them on the site overnight because they’d be pinched by the ‘free’ workers. (58)” But the more crafty workers try to win the favor of the prisoners by doing things like smuggling their letters out of the camp. However, the most important thing “free” workers must do to insure their safety is keep the prisoners in prison and make sure they have no means of escape, because the guard who loses a prisoner takes that prisoner’s place in camp.
Then there are the prisoners. The lucky ones like the hard-worker Kilgas or Ceaser the trustee live on the packages that people send them. These packages contain food and sometimes letters. The extra food they receive in the packages allows these special few to thrive in a place of such poor rations. Plus, they can use their packages to bribe “all the right people (37)” in order get what they want or need.
The next way a prisoner might survive is by moving up the...

Find Another Essay On Morals Vs. Selfishness

Heart Of Darkness: Summary Notes - Study Guide

4898 words - 20 pages reader's response to characters, situations, conflicts and issuesThe different levels of narration add to and contradict each otherThrough these continual contrasts, readers are manipulated and forced to question their own attitudes towards colonisation.Frame Narrator vs. MarlowThe frame narrator and Marlow come from the dominant European discourse; however there is a sense of antithesis in their different attitudes towards colonisation and

Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure"- The Female Characters

6679 words - 27 pages various interpretations.Without any background knowledge of the Early Modern Ages we would judge Isabella as being simply selfish and too strict to her morals. Religious asceticism is no matter what a questionable principle and Isabella levels it higher than a human life. Isabella “sacrifices her brother’s life on the altar of the extreme idol of her chastity”4 which is an unnatural and especially non female action. Her actions are

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages 348.8 K Relative Error 3.4 7.7 0.6 0.1 1.2 Table 1 Summary of results. A = Naphtalene, B = Durene Figure 1 Phase diagram of (Naphtalene/Durene) system via thermal analysis Figure 2 Phase diagram of (Naphtalene/Durene) system via visual analysis Figure 3Experimental data vs fitted data for runs (1 to 6) Figure 4 Experimental data vs fitted data for

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Psychological Egoism Theory

2240 words - 9 pages The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and

How Celtic Folkore has Influenced My Family

1587 words - 6 pages because there are two different versions—the more popular version and the one my father tells. Both of them promote important lessons that were fundamentals for my siblings and me. Although the Celtic cross and the Legend of Finn MacCoul have important roles in Irish history, these Celtic pieces of folklore have taken on a different meaning in my family because they have been brought over to the United States and have contributed to morals and

Julia Margaret Cameron

1406 words - 6 pages At a time when women were looked upon as being homemakers, wives, mothers and such the late 1850's presented a change in pace for one woman in specific. Photography was discovered in 1826 and soon after the phenomenon of photography was being experimented with and in turn brought new and different ways of photo taking not only as documenting real time, but also conceptualizing a scene in which an image would be taken. Julia Margaret Cameron will

Evaluation of School Improvement

1403 words - 6 pages The evaluation process should be progressive to incorporate overall planning, implement changes, which contribute to success. In order to focus on school climate and norms, the evaluation design must include the students, instructions, and outcomes to improve communication and building-level concerns to be address in this response. School Climate and Social Norms The school principal, other staff leaders, and personnel set the tone and the

Case Study: The Benefits of Animal Testing

1757 words - 7 pages Nine year old Amy has already had a rough start in life. She was born with an abnormal heart that hinders her everyday activities. Amy is unable to keep up with kids her own age because she often tires out easily. As a consequence, she has very little friends and is often alone. Amy is forced to take different medications everyday just to survive. Amy’s life consists of medicine, doctors, and constant hospital visits. However, Amy is due for a

Similar Essays

Warped Goals Is About The Selfishness And Lack Of Morals Shown By Some Of The Characters In "The Great Gatsby" By. F.Scott Fitzgerald

561 words - 3 pages "The Great Gatsby", by F. Scott Fitzgerald, outlines many themes found in the 1920s. Most of these themes display few morals and much selfishness. Almost everyone had the same measures of success and were willing to do anything to achieve it. The actions people took in "The Great Gatsby" revolved around dreams, wealth, and possessiveness.Everyone has dreams. The people in "The Great Gatsby" were no different. It was hard to find a content person

Grandmothers Victory Essay

799 words - 3 pages . Maybe the Blacks vs.. Whites is simply a disguise for selfishness. I wonder why the "powhitetrash" girls and Mrs. Dubose hate blacks? They probably don't, they are different so they are easy targets for harassment. Respect is probably the thing that racist people are lacking the most; not respect for the other race, but respect for themselves. If you have self-respect, why should you feel the need to put others down?

Abortion Is Wrong Essay

7663 words - 31 pages feeling of guilt after they decide to have an abortion. The morality factor in abortion depends solely on the individual?s own definition of morality. The morality of an individual weighs on what religion, if any, is the woman. The United States Presbyterian Church agrees with abortion if it would be irresponsible for the women to bring a child into this world (Mensch and Freeman 169). If morals or at least values were installed into our

Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath Vs. Sinclair’s The Jungle

1989 words - 8 pages Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath vs. Sinclair’s The Jungle The global appeal of the so-called American dream of happiness and success has drawn many people to the “promised land” for hundreds of years. Although the American government preached equality for all on paper, it was driven primarily by money. Both Upton Sinclair and John Steinbeck recognized this and used literature to convey the flaws of capitalism. Sinclair’s The Jungle