"One Day In The Life Of Ivan" Alyoshka

585 words - 3 pages

"What d'you want your freedom for? What faith you have left will be choked in thorns. Rejoice that you are in prison. Here you can think of your soul." (198) Amongst the characters in the novel "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich", Alyoshka has the most enduring faith. The author, Solzhenitsyn, portrays the Baptist as a dedicated and extraordinarily persevering character. In a novel about a Russian forced labor camp, Alyoshka represents the strength of the human spirit conquering the hardships by focusing on the health of the soul rather than secular issues. Alyoshka has a few traits that make him seem above the effects of camp life, they include, overwhelming inner peace, trustworthiness, and faith.Alyoshka reads from ...view middle of the document...

Shukhov knows that the Estonians and Alyoshka have seen him sow his bread into his mattress, he is not worried that they will report him. The survival that Solzhenitsyn describes in this novel is strongly dependant on the fact that solidarity with fellow men can persist even in subhuman conditions. The camps authority encourages the prisoners to spy on each other but even so Alyoshka keeps Shukhov's secret.Bread is a symbol of physical and spiritual rations made by the authority in the novel. Although the physical sustenance that bread gives the prisoners is more important to most of them than its religious significance, Alyoshka's mention of the prayer for their daily bread alludes to the spiritual nourishment that bread offers. Near the end of the novel, Alyoshka urges Shukhov to give up his quest for material bread and to start pursuing spiritual satisfaction instead. Alyoshka's urging of Shukhov to pursue things of the spirit rather than things of the flesh renders Shukhov speechless, as if he is deeply reflecting on this philosophy. More important, he actually follows this advice in giving Alyoshka one of his biscuits, voluntarily sacrificing a worldly good. Shukhov's sense of inner peace in the novel's last paragraph, which resembles Alyoshka's sense of inner peace throughout the novel, demonstrates that religious faith offers strength in the face of hardship.These traits are maintained throughout the book and represent to the reader the survival of the spiritual world progressing further into society, as the conditions get worse. The religious faith of Alyoshka is admirable as it signifies a defiance that no authority can crush. His impact on Shukhov makes him one of the most important characters in the novel.

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