World Literature Paper
“Solzhenitsyn use of selected language in justifying the main essence of the story”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Russian writer of the emotional piece One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich uses Russian traditional oral style skaz ( from Russian ‘skazat’ - to say or tell) and it explains the author’s general skaz approach in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Solzhenitsyn uses skaz to emphasize the experience of the camps and life as a prisoner. In order to attain gulag camp’s unfeigned internal atmosphere, he chose to highlight the harsh language and swearing, in relationships between zeks, it means the prisoners and guards. Also, use of animal comparison is significant accent to Russian culture, which most likely comes from legends and tales. Forced-labor camps prisoners, divided into squads are depending on the discretion of guards or squad leaders. Sense of community and inside-unwritten camp rules are shaping gulag zek’s everyday life.
Author involves three kinds of narration techniques - as a prisoner, used method is called skaz, when wants to emphasize communication between Ivan and other zeks “So leave envy to those who always think the radish in the other fellow’s hand is bigger than ours. Shukhov knows life and never opens his belly to what doesn’t belong to him.” (p 124) ; as an educated narrator with specific details about ongoing “With the same rapid movements as before, Shukhov hung up his coat on a crossbeam and pulled what he wanted from the mattress: a pair of mittens, a second pair of old foot rags, a length of rope, and a piece of cloth with tapes at each end.” (p 22); and Ivan himself using third person and mainly recounting flashbacks and daydreams “You couldn’t write and describe the squad you were working with and what kind of squad leader Andrei Prokofievich was. Just now he had a good deal more to talk about with Kilgas the Lett than with his family at home.” (p 33) (Ivan is making observations, while walking around the camp and thinking about writing a letter to his wife about his life - although after decide not to). Different narrative perspectives allow to become acquainted with the setting for more than just prisoners point-of-view.
First pages hints occasional use of profanity, it’s appropriateness relates to blunt setting of political forced labor camp and intensive relationships between the characters. Guards refer to its authority and impunity in the use of command and swearing. “Shut that door, you scum.” (p 10) or “They [the prisoners] don’t know how to do a f****** thing and don’t want to learn. They’re not worth the bread we give them. We [guards] ought to feed them a shit.” (p 12). Captain to Fetyukov: “ You haul sand, you bastard.” (p 51). One would think, to what extent is the language use by guards appropriate to the people they are addressing it? Harsh language appears between zeks too - “Push it up? Not f***** likely. My breath won’t have any effect.” (p 10). When Buinovsky...