One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich By Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

1303 words - 5 pages

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn developed a first-hand experience when he was thrown in a Soviet Union labor camp called the Gulag. This experience influenced him to write his work, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, for the intensions of inveigling attention and provoking cognizance of the Soviet Union forced labor camp system. As the title advocates, the novel follows a lingering time period of one day and conveys a glimpse at what life was like in a Soviet Union labor camp in the point of view of the prisoners. Solzhenitsyn uses the setting to impact the effectiveness of the mood within the work, which is reflected through the characters. In the work, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn uses the historical setting to relief his intentions of manifesting his critical views of Soviet totalitarianism, through the text of his novel.
In One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Solzhenitsyn depicts the setting with the use of simplistic vocabulary and syntax, which exemplifies an effective grim mood. This is precisely important as the novel uses straightforward narration that gives the context of the novel by elucidating the setting:
As usual, at five o’clock that morning reveille was sounded by the blows of a hammer on a length of rail hanging up near the staff quarters. The intermittent sound barely penetrated the window-panes on which the frost lay two fingers thick, and they ended almost as soon as they’d begun. It was cold outside, and the camp-guard was reluctant to go on beating out the reveille for long. (Solzhenitsyn 7)
With these lines, the physical setting allows us to acknowledge the background situation that is being presented. The simple words “As usual, at five o’clock” (7), highlights a crucial point that this is a daily mundane routine. Furthermore the use of the word “reveille” shows connotation to military terms, which tells us that although this camp life is described as brutal, the prisoners are soldiers who have Hope and are fighting for survival. Another point is the vicious weather in which is justified with the words “the frost lay two fingers thick” (7); and “It was cold outside” (7). These noteworthy aspects help to show Solzhenitsyn’s intensions of which includes illuminating a perspective on the difficulties of sustaining life as a prisoner of this camp as well as what these prisoners dealt with on a regular basis. This also contributes to helping to elaborate upon the grim mood that is present.
Solzhenitsyn reflects the mood through the characters in their setting. Solzhenitsyn uses simplistic vocabulary and syntax in order to give a straightforward explanation about the characters and how their actions reflect the mood. We are first introduced to the character Shukhov in which from the beginning we find out a great deal about his character: “Shukhov never overslept reveille. He always got up at once, for the next ninety minutes, until they assembled for work, belonged to him not to the...

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