One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Solzhenitsyn's Faith

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One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Faith  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is a professed Christian. However, according to some critics, this does not necessarily make his writings "Christian" (Schmemann 39). Biblical principles can clearly be identified in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. They can be seen through Solzhenitsyn's views on the world as a divine creation, the nature of evil, and faith in the future. The Christian faith is rooted in the belief that God created everything, and that it is good. According to Christian belief, God has a plan for His creation, and therefore there is no need to be pessimistic. At first, this Christian view seems an unlikely fit with…show more content…
Shukhov's attribution of nature to a divine Creator is a fundamental Christian belief (Zamoyska 216). The nature of evil, from the Christian standpoint, is that all evil comes from man's sin. This makes evil a very personal force, rather than something abstract. Schmemann describes the Christian idea of evil as a fall. He states that evil is "this fall from on high and the horror, grief and suffering it evokes" (41). Evil, or sin, is controlled by the individual. Each person has the ability to choose between right and wrong. In many parts of the novel, prisoners must decide whether or not to help their prison-mates. When Shukhov goes to the infirmary, his fellow prisoners save his rations, so he may eat (Solzhenitsyn 25). Later, Tsezar decides to give Shukhov the rest of his cigarette instead of giving it to Fetyukov (31). The Russian authorities and guards have made the decision to carry out the injustices of the prison camp. The freedom of the individual to choose right from wrong, an important idea in Christianity, is obviously present in this novel. Finally, Solzhenitsyn's novel expresses one of the most important Christian principles, hope for the future. In Christianity, since Christ paid the price for the sins of the world, there are no lost causes. Christians have faith that Christ will return someday and that there will be a heaven. In the same way, in the midst of the terrible conditions of the prison camp, Shukhov can be pleased at
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