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How Does Solzhenitsyn Show Denisovich As A Representative Figure Who

1582 words - 6 pages

How does Solzhenitsyn show Denisovich as a representative figure who copes with adversity in the book 'One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich'? The novel, 'One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich' by Alexander Solzhenitsyn is a story about a man who is in a prison for people who have committed political crimes. The story deals with a typical day for Denisovich and how he copes in this harsh and hostile environment. What interested me about the book was the way Denisovich was shown to handle the hard way of life and how he coped with adversity. In this essay I will explore the way in which Ivan Denisovich deals with them and by doing this what is the writer showing us. The camp is a camp for people who have been accused of political crimes. It is in the cold weather conditions of Siberia where the prisoners are sent out to work day after day to construct buildings for the community and surrounding area. This laborious work is surpost to change the prisoners way of thinking so that they can be returned back into society but most sentences last between ten and twenty five years so that when the men are given their freedom many of them do not adapt to the outside worlds way of life or many of them do not even make it out at all. Ivan Shukov Denisovich left his home on the twenty third of June 1941 as a POW and ended up in prison after escaping from the Germans only to be charged with treason by the Russians. He hasn't been in the camp for the longest but has still been in for quite a while so many prisoners look up to him. There are three main types of adversity which Denisovich has to deal with. They are domestic, social and political adversity. I will firstly look at domestic adversity which in this case looks at the way in which Denisovich copes with things in the domestic sense like meal times. Ivan copes in these situations by having rituals and small acts. "Then he removed his hat from his clean-shaven head - however cold it might be, he could never bring himself to eat with his hat on." What this quote is showing is one of Denisovich's many rituals this is him in the freezing with only three small meals a day and he walks in and takes his hat of before eating. If I were him then I would not have cared about my hat, I would have just dived into the food. These little things he does help him cope because he is keeping his dignity by removing his hat as we would before eating a meal so this is an action we can all relate to and helps us to cope with things as well because it is common in our lives. What Solzhenitsyn wants to get across from this is that even though you are faced with all these problems around you, you still have to be dignified, proud and show that you will not be beaten. The writer is showing us Denisovich's self pride which, again, we can all relate to. Another small act that he does is he refrains from licking the bowl , again another act which allows him...

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