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World Lit Essay

1368 words - 5 pages

In both One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the temperature is consistently apparent throughout the novels. The temperature affects the judgment and actions of the protagonists. In One Day in a Life of Ivan Denisovich, Shukov, the protagonist is imprisoned in a Soviet work camp in Siberia. He endures a hard life working in below zero weather with no way out. The way he thinks is revolved around the weather and how to stay alive in such cold temperatures. In Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov, the protagonist murders the pawnbroker during a hot dry day in summer. The extreme heat affects a lot of Raskolnikov's judgment and also affects him physically. Although the temperatures in both novels are completely opposite, they both affect the character's judgment and in turn has a profound impact in their lives.One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in situated in Siberia where the temperature is below zero and stays extremely cold. This novel is taken place during the time when Stalin ruled in Russia, Shukov, a carpenter is sent off to work camp in the cold climates of Siberia where there is no heat."You could bet your life for a month there'd be no place where you could get warm""not even a hole in the ground. And you couldn't make a fire""what could you use for fuel? So your only hope was to work like hell." In most work camps, people would dread the idea of working all day, but in the work camp Shukov is at, work it the only answer to survival. There is no heat anywhere but to make one's own body heat by working. Without the constant movement of the body, the cold would get to Shukov and make him sick. He also works because by working hard and showing his efforts, him and the rest of his gang can earn more food from their gang boss.Working allows the prisoners in the Siberian work camp warm. However, Shukov constantly keeps in mind the coldness whenever he makes a decision. When Shukov wakes up late, he is sent to the Comandant's office. He is ordered to clean the floor, but before he does, he takes off his "felt boots, st[an]d them in the corner, threw the foot cloths on top of them" to prevent his shoes from getting wet. By getting his shoes wet, he would have had cold feet throughout the whole day, and would not have been able to properly dry them.Meals are very important because they supply the body with nutrients and some warmth.Shukov risked being sent to the can and having no work, which he would have died from the cold, by stealing a piece."He could grind it down into a small knife for mending boots or making clothes...If they found it on him and said it was a knife, he could get ten days in the can"¦He thought how weak and hungry he'd be there and how hard it would be to get back on his fee, lean and half starved"¦" , yet he took the chance he was given, although he knew the consequences. The temperature in this case influenced him to risk his life for...

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