Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 's One Day

1198 WordsMay 21, 20165 Pages
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich explores the man’s struggle to survive in the trying circumstances of a Soviet Gulag. Though the novel leads the reader through the horrific conditions in one of the work camps, it does not focus on the lack of hope that the men feel but it focuses on the perseverance and resilience of the prisoners. Shukhov’s character shines through as a prominent example of the courage of the souls in the work camps. Further, Alyoshka proves to never give up in the face of extreme conditions and is always around to help his gang. Finally, Tyurin’s undying devotion to leadership provides a refreshing look into the resilience of the prisoners. Solzhenitsyn expertly constructs intricate layers…show more content…
Furthermore, the author reveals through Shukhov’s actions the determination that mankind experienced in the gulags. Shukhov takes a job, which could normally be considered a gruelling task, and turns it into an act of fortitude. As the sole thing he sees is “the wall in front of him” (97) and he shouts to not “give up yet, boys!” (109), he strongly exemplifies the perseverance of the prisoners. The task that he is given should dishearten him but instead, boosts his morale and thus, his determination. The character of Shukhov is crafted as a glaring example of the resilience men have in a gulag, and this is additionally explored through the characterization of Alyoshka. Solzhenitsyn creates the compelling character of Alyoshka who stays true to himself and to others in the face of adversity. Staying faithful to his religion gives him the strength he requires in order to focus on the positive outcomes of the gulags. Contrary to popular opinion, the author uses Alyoshka’s dialogue to exhibit the positivity as he says to “‘[b]e glad [they are] in prison’” so that they “‘have time to think about [their] soul[s]’” (177). He regards his imprisonment as a time to reflect upon his spirit and the kind of person he is which is a true accomplishment of the human spirit in the calamity of a gulag. Further, the author uses his actions to display his steadfast nature that causes him to be of tremendous help to his gang. His want to be helpful is glaringly
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