Survival In One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich By Solzhenitsyn And The Metamorphosis By Kafka

2039 words - 8 pages

Survival in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Solzhenitsyn and The Metamorphosis by Kafka In both One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, written by
Solzhenitsyn, and The Metamorphosis, written by Kafka, there were
struggles for survival in face of oppression. Both of the protagonists
had lost control of their own lives and were forced to fight to keep
the little control that they had. Shukov, a character created by
Solzhenitsyn, was imprisoned in a Stalinist labour camp designed to
attack its prisoners' physical and spiritual dignity. Gregor from The
Metamorphosis became isolated in his own house after being transformed
into a bug. He could not communicate with his family and he
increasingly became a financial and emotional burden on his family,
because of this they alienated him from the rest of the Samsa's. In
these characters' struggle for survival we see three main factors to
their ability to survive: cooperation, attitude and food.

First, cooperation would obviously be a key element for survival. This
became evident in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Squads that
worked together, survived. The members of the 104th squad worked
together and depended on one another to get their assignments done. If
one member of the squad did not complete a task, the whole squad would
be punished. Therefore, being able to depend on your squad and squad
leader was essential. There were personal advantages to having friends
in the prison as well. For example, because Ivan showed kindness
toward Caesar by standing in line for him, he got Caesar's share of
supper and some food from the package Caesar had received. The
prisoners being able to depend on one another to complete tasks and to
share were huge factors in their survival in the prison camp.
Dependence in The Metamorphosis was also important. Although in this
case it was more the lack of dependence. Gregor was isolated from his
family and from society. Despite his sister's minimal effort to feed
Gregor, he received no aid from anyone throughout the novel. If he
were able to depend on his family like Ivan could his friends he
probably would have survived. His family simply turned their back on
him the moment that they could not depend on him. This shows a similar
message as to the message in Solzhenitsyn's writing about dependence
within the groups. Both authors showed, from different sides, how
dependance is vital to survival.

Second, the two novels use personal attitudes as a factor in the
characters' struggle for survival. In One Day in the Life of Ivan
Denisovich, the prisoners had hope. Ivan, personally, lived each day
and tried to...

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