Sunday, August 24, 2014

Connection Captain- Gaetano C

One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
 by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Rotation #1, Pages 0-22
Connection Captain

     After reading the first few pages of the book, I am already hooked. I think it is an enthralling novel that tells such a significant tale in such a significant period in time. However, there was one particular section that stood out to me more than the rest. That was the section where Ivan had just woken up in the morning. This part stood out to me because of his thoughts and his reactions to this everyday situation. It all seemed so routine to him, so normal. But why is this normal? It shouldn't be; not in the slightest. Unfortunately, these types of terrible routines are not solely fictional. Even today, millions up people wake up to a world where they are abused and ill-treated. As Ivan Denisovich said, "He had wished morning would never come. But the morning came as usual". It is not ok to, every day, dread the morning. It is not ok for the best part of you day be the 8 hours of semi-sleep in freezing temperatures. However, for millions around the globe, it is ok to them.

Getting the filthy water 
          Take Abam, an 8 year old girl from Ethiopia. Think about what you were doing when you were eight. Now lets take a look at what Abam is probably doing at this instant. Every morning, Abam wakes up at 4 in the morning. After she eats her daily breakfast, which consists of scavenged food from her local town, she walks 3 hours to the nearest water source. This water source, which looks more like a large puddle than an actual pond, is full of dirt, bugs, and god knows what else. She fills up her 2 old water
Girl walking miles to get water
bottles (the dispensable ones, of course) and then walks 3 hours back home. There, she shares her two bottles of filthy water with her 5 siblings, her grandparents, and her parents. Do you think that this little girl dreads the coming of morning? Of course she does. Millions of people dread mornings on a daily basis because of problems like this. Problems that shouldn't exist in the world.

          Sure, it's normal to not look forward to Monday mornings and things like that. But it is definitely not normal to fear the coming of morning every day. Ivan
Homeless man with a sign. It kind of makes
you think about the difference between us
and them.
does fear the coming of morning, as it signifies yet another day of torture and abuse. The author most likely included this section where he talks/thinks about his morning routine to show us that around the world, both back then and now, people fear the mornings. He probably wanted us to realize that fearing morning is not normal, and those who do need serious help. Because of Ivan's fear of mornings, I can already infer that having a cold, sleepless night is better than whatever is in store for him during the rest of the day. This is sad, as people like us actually would hate to have a cold and sleepless night, while Ivan looks forward to it. To me, Ivan represents the hundreds of millions of people out there who are mistreated, abused, and exploited on a daily basis. It kind of makes you think about how different our lives are compared to theirs, and how fortunate we are to have everything we do have.  Yet it also makes you think about how unfortunate they are. It makes you think about Ivan and all the millions of people out there. About how sad their lives are; about how the worst thing in our life is the best in theirs.

                                                    Sources: Image 1;  Image 2;  Image 3;


  1. Gaetano I agree with you. I think that it is not fair for people to wake up and think about how bad and unfortunate their day is going to be. Millions of people are having to walk so far for unhealthy water. When I was eight years old, I was probably playing and thinking I was unfortunate for not getting what I wanted. Although, I should have been happy about what I have, because some people have worse situations and would love to have what I had. Other than that, to this day, on a monday morning, I always hate it. I always think of how bad my week is going to be and how long it will take to finish. Although, I should be happier, I should admire what I have while I have it. Some people don't have it and would do anything just to have a week of my life.

  2. Whilst reading this part about mornings, I also noticed how reluctant Ivan was to wake up and face his daily routine, and how terrible it seemed. I think it is also represented by the fact that he would rather be sick than go to work in the morning. I understand your connection to homeless people and slavery, and I agree in some aspects, but not entirely. Firstly, I believe that the contexts are completely different. This young girl of which you talk about is completely innocent and young, living a life like this due to the financial and social problems that her family faces. Ivan, on the other hand, is a man living in a labor camp; a prisoner of sorts. He lives there because he was imprisoned for some reason, or he did something considered wrong on the eyes of his government. We still don't know what he did to deserve that, of course, and we must acknowledge that he is living under the Soviet regime. In the introduction, the author's story shows us a bit of what it was like to live in that time, the concepts of censorship, etc.. So, we don't know if Ivan's imprisonment was completely fair; however we don't know the other side as well. For me, that is why it does not connect entirely to the examples that you gave us. Of course, in both cases, people dread mornings and live in inhumane conditions, which no one should have to experience, but one is a prisoner who has done something to be there, while the other is completely unjustified. I believe that we will only know for sure if we learn a bit more about Ivan's past.
    Overall, I think that you really grasped the beginning of the book and wrote a extremely detailed and thorough explanation of your point of view.

  3. Gaetano, your post enhanced my thoughts. I think that your connection of Abam with Shukhov was a great example. Just like Shukhov, Abam wouldn't want to wake up and walk for hours to get filthy water. Shukhov doesn't wish to wake up as well. Instead, he would rather have a long, cold sleep. Everyday, both Abam and Shukhov has to wake up to work in a harsh environment. I completely agree that the author was trying to show us what kind of experience Shukhov and the rest of the prisoners were going through. You said that Ivan wishes that the Sun doesn't come out and that he would rather have a long, cold sleep. This shows how desperately he wishes not to walk out the freezing door. On the other hand, Abam would wish for it to be cooler.

    Do you think that they have differences as well? For example, Abam wakes up to get water for her family, but Shukhov wakes up to support Russia with its military power.

  4. I really like the way you express yourself by words and the feelings you want to share. I totally agree that Denisovich was so used to this routine that he barely feel anything. I like too the conection with Abam was realistic. You really let us feel the enviroment around Ivan and the way he, just as Abam, lived the life above any kind of compassion, love or anger.
    I think that at this point of our lives all of us have a, everyday routine that we have to follow and maybe it´s boring but maybe we are scared to live it. Int his we can feel connected to Ivan (In certain way, because our lives are much more easier and happier than his) and to his way of living, like the video “This is water“ we are in our default setting.

  5. Hey Gaetano, I enjoyed your connections, and how you connected this story to current events. As many people here said, there are a few differences from Ivan to Abam, but I definitely see the connection. One difference I think everybody forgot to say is that Abam has lived her whole life doing this routine. On the other hand, Ivan was a wealthier person who had his life taken away for a stupid and unjust reason. I am not sure whether Ivan is so used to the routine he is doing in the camp as Abam is used to her's. Overall, I think your post is excellent and I enjoyed reading it!

  6. Gaetano, I really liked your connections, and the pictures you used to help our thinking. I think that I can also connect with Abam. As little I would always cry about everything, and I would always get what I wanted. Now that I've grown up, I understand why my parents would usually say "no" I now understand that for everything you want, you need to work hard for it. Unfortunately, many people (in this case Abam) have to work harder for a small result. I think that it is unfair how people dont have many opportunities than others. Overall, I really liked the structure of your post, and I really liked your connections. I think you could have added a little more details on your connections, but I think it was good.