Character Strength in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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Character Strength in "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Alexander Solzhenitsyn One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is a novel about survival. Solzhenitsyn shows us how even in seemingly atrocious circumstances each person can find sources of strength that gives them the will to carry on. Many of the things that the prisoners think of as their sources of strengths would mean nothing to us, but if one thinks about it, without them we would perhaps lose the will to carry on. Most of the prisoners have more than one source of strength, perhaps subconsciously they have made their own fail safes. If they lost one source, they would have other more personal reasons to carry on. The two main factors of strength that…show more content…
He studies the New Testament and he uses literature to cut out the outside world. Shukhov does not seem like a religious man, but as one goes further into the novel, one begins to see him taking a bigger interest in religion, and more importantly, faith. Alyosha tries to show Shukhov that faith is the strongest source of strength, and he tells Shukhov to try to see the importance of spiritual goods rather than material goods. However, objects have a lot of importance to all of the prisoners. Aloysha hides his New Testament to avoid it being confiscated just Shukhov hides his bread. This shows us that the Bible is as important to Alyosha as bread is to Shukhov. At the end of the novel Shukhov gives away a biscuit to Alyosha and expects nothing in return. This shows that he has taken Alyosha’s advice and has chosen to feel spiritual accomplishment rather than keeping the material good. Property is another source of strength in the novel. Possessing something that other prisoners do not have is a way of showing individuality in a place where all the prisoners are marked as the same, ignoring what they have or have not done. Shukhov’s spoon is also very symbolic. Shukhov is forced to hide the spoon in order to keep it from being taken by the guards. In a way this shows us how the camp tries to take away anything that gives the prisoners a sense of individuality, or anything that gives them happiness.

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