Day in the Life of Ivan

Gulag

Source

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn describes his time in a labor camp through the eyes of a character named Ivan Denisovich. In the book, Solzheitsyn describes a typical of a prisoner in a soviet labor camp, specifically for political prisoners. He describes the harsh environment that prisoners have to live with for many years.

This book was a instant sensation across the Soviet Union and quickly gained fame around the world, and the reason, the way the book described the character as shown in the introduction of the book by Marvin Kalb, ” Like millions of other Russians, [Ivan] uncomplainingly in the Red Army for four years… in 1945, he and a friend were captured.. after a few days they managed to escape… ironically, instead of being decorated for heroism and loyalty, Ivan was arrested by Stalin’s supersensitive secret police, who accused him of high treason and charged that he had returned only to spy for the Germans” Kalb the goes on to say, “Confused and helpless, afraid that he would be shot if he tried to explain, Ivan “confessed.” He was sentenced to ten years in a Siberian Concentration” (Solzhenitsyn, 1963). These two quotes talk about why the book was a sensation. This is because it reminded of a dark chapter in their past and that everyone had a family member that was put in one these prisons or a prison and affected everyone across the Soviet Union.

Solzhenitsyn, A. (1963). One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich: Notes. London, U.K.:                E.P. Dutton.

Von Geldern, J. (2015, October 07). Prisoners Return. Retrieved November 11,                     2018, from http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1954-2/prisoners-return/

 

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7 thoughts on “Day in the Life of Ivan

  1. I like the picture that you used to show the life of people in labor camps. The snow shows how cold it is and the fact that there is a lot of it and they are working it to clear it off the train tracks, shows that they are doing heavy work.

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  2. To me the most striking part about this work is that as it takes you through the day you see more and more of the horror that these people had to put up with and then at the end the author says that this was a good day and that it was just an average day out of thousands.

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  3. Thanks for writing about One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich! That photo album (website) you found by Tomasz Kizny is wonderful — great find! I agree with your analysis of why the book was a sensation. What did you find most interesting or striking about it? Were there characters that especially resonated with you?
    Also, fix spelling of Solzhenitsyn.

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  4. Ivan sure puts into perspective what it meant to live in a camp, with barely surviving being considered a good day. This sort of literature was powerful during Destalinization.

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  5. I like the perspective this brings to the people. It shows the people how life inside the Gulag was, and shows that a lot of people in there were innocent and that they were put in there because of misunderstandings like Ivan.

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