One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich: A Comparison of the Film and Novel

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This novel and film commentary analysis or interpretation will be first summarised and then critiqued. The summary will be divided into twenty- four episodes. While summarising it is well to remember that the film was made out of the book.

Therefore, the setting, the characters, mainly the protagonist, the symbolic significance, the assents, the narrative perspectives and levels of meanings are all interrelated.

In describing the setting, the general locale is the prison in the coldest part of Russia- Siberia, geographically but socially depicting the social circumstances in the prison, but draws analogies to the general social, political and economic circumstances of Russia during the Stalinist era (form 1917 revolution
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<li value="6"> Both contain Russian historical truth. But in contrast, the book contains too many flashbacks. Additionally, the levels of meanings are mainly found in the book. Traces of levels of meanings at the philosophical level are more obvious in the book than in the film. The protagonist did grow vivid in the film but it was in the book that we see his mental power developing very well. The picture on the cover of the book may not mean anything good or bad but those bright alert hawk-like eyes in an old wriggled up face tells a lot of stories about the social circumstances than the image of the prison camp in the film, which was brought forward in the beginning and then fades away in the end.

All in all, the title is also significant in the sense that although it happened in only one day of the prisoner's life, the general Russian peoples' lives were structured and controlled since 1920s to 1955, day in day out. This brings me to the end of comparing and contrasting the genres.

I would then wish to summarise the episodes. There are at least twenty-four (24) episodes altogether.


In episode one, we are introduced to the prison house and the protagonist Ivan Denisovich beginning of his structured life. In other words we are introduced to the beginning of his typical day. We see as the episodes unreel that not only Ivan's