Sunday, August 31, 2014

Connection Captain- Nico A

A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich 
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Part #2- Pg. 22- 68
Connection Captain

        During this section of the book, there has been a fair amount of movement through the camp starting off with getting Ivan's numbers fixed, to building, and closing off the windows of a structure to finally getting food.  This section of the book reminded me of the situation in Iraq involving the Isis group.  More descriptively, the selection of pages reminded me how civilians from small towns across Iraq had to flee from their homes empty-handed to prevent themselves or their family from being held captive or exiled by Isis.  This came into my head due to the fact that similar to the prisoners in the camp, civilians had to work a great deal to survive from the terrorist group in the very arid environment of the Sinjar Mountains just to be able to get food from airdrops by the U.S.  Similar to the prisoners, they worked an impossible amount to survive, and in return they were given small rations of food that had to be shared by everyone who retreated into the mountains.

        Yes, yes, even though my next connection is very different from each other, I was reminded by it due to the fact that both topics I will compare have the same intensity for something.  In page 32, the prisoners are required to take their coats, and undershirts off for an inspection to make sure none of them are carrying anything ilegal.  This immediately reminded me of TSA checking in airports.  This is because the two comparisons required the stripping of a certain body wear.  Not only that, but they have the same reason for it, to prevent anything ilegal from being in the area.  They are both also protecting people from these ilegal objects.  In the airport's case, officials are protecting civilians, in the Gulag's case, officials are protecting themselves from the objects by taking them from the prisoners.  Although they might think they are protecting someone, both topics can sometimes be senseless and unreasonable to have to take off clothes or body equipment.

         Finally, the book also reminded me of the book Holes.  This is because both take place in camps or penitentiaries, they both hand labor as punishment, and work is set in a place with extreme weather.  Not only that, but just like the gulag camps, prisoners in the book Holes, have groups or divisions in which prisoners are paired.  In addition to all of this, a minimal amount of food is given to the prisoners in both books.

Image 1 and information 1-  winford, Steven. "Iraq Crisis: Thousands Escape Islamic State Extremists on Sinjar, Mountain of Death." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 14 Aug. 2014. Web. 31 Aug. 2014.

Image 2- Global Intellegence. "TSA: Useful or Useless?" Politics Dissected RSS. Physics Anonymous, 12 Nov. 2012. Web. 31 Aug. 2014.

Image 3- Darling, Emiliana. "Emiliana Darling." Emiliana Darling. Tumblr, 2013. Web. 31 Aug. 2014.


  1. I like the way you connected to the book Holes, but were the camps there concentration camps, or something like gulag camps. Also the second connection reminded me of the TSA checking in the airports, and I like the picture you put to mention both checking. I think after gulag camps some camps were changed. Also the "checking" reminded me of the jewish concentration camps.

    1. Hey Juho, I am not sure what you are talking about concentration camps, remember we are talking about work camps where generally speaking you were not killed, but if you are asking if the camp in Holes is similar to Gulags, the I would say it is because both camps are places of hard and tiring work. You were also not allowed to escape, even if you did you would die by the extreme heat. Finally, in both camps you would be sent to, because of some sort of illegal actions. How do you think checking relates to the concentration camps? I am pretty curious.

    2. Oh i meant the concentration camp as the camps for Holes. i thought they were just concentration camps like the camps in Auschwitz with the jews.
      They had to also do hard stuff and could be killed. i know people in Russia whose grandfather died in the gulag camps, like in concentration camps.

    3. Actually, the camp in the book "Holes" (or Camp Green Lake) is a juvenile detention camp. I can see the relationship with Gulag Prisons though. If you do something deemed wrong, you'd go to a Gulag Prison. Same for Camp Green Lake. In the book/movie "Holes", kids were forced to do hard labor, digging holes every day in a dried lake (in the hopes of fiding a buried treasure.) Apart from the fact of why you go there/hard labor, there isn't much of a relationship though.

  2. Nico,
    I like all your connections, they are very original. The second connection you made, about the inspecting clothes, stood out to me. I also had this connection during the reading and if I were the Connection Captain this round, I would definitely use this one.

    Your last connection made me curious. I am curious to read this book, that everyone says they love it. I am now curious to read Holes to see the connection between the book we are currently reading and Holes.

  3. Nico, your post contained both interesting connections and insights. For your second connection, I had sort of a personal experience with it. Once, at an airport (I forgot what airport and country it was in,) after passing through the x-ray, we got hand-checked by security (for example they opened suit cases by hand, checked pockets, etc.) Apparently it was a random search done to one in two hundred passengers/passengers travelling together. It helps prevent some items from passing that are not supposed to, however it is rare and not as efficient. It might be a similar case for the prisoners in gulag camps. It is rare to find illegal items on prisoners, and what they do find is hardly dangerous or at least interesting (for example the extra layer of clothing on that one prisoner.)

  4. Nico,

    You post is very detailed and fun. I have also done the connection captain, and I have realised that we have a similar connection.
    We both talked about holes, the book/movie. I agree with you about this connection because they both have some shared characteristics. For example: they are both in a camp for being accused of something they didn't do. Also, the fact that they both get very little food, by both I mean Ivan, and the prisioners. But, do you think that it is fair that they get very little food? How will they stay healthy?
    I like your second connection to, about the airport. I have been checked once but now it is a little but more technology instead of human to human. Now in London, they have a tube which you walk into and they scan you.
    Overall, I really like you post.

  5. Nico,
    Your post stood out out to me because of the way that you compared certain things. I would never have thought instantly about airport inspection when they were checking the prisoners. I liked that Alejandro shared a personal experience. I was also intrigued about the connection to the ISIS situation. Personally, I love it when things are connected to actual or historical events, because I am interested in world history. I was surprised that no one else commented on this fact, because your connection is extremely interesting. Like Isabella, I also read the book Holes, and I thought it was amusing that both of you thought about it as a connection. It does make sense. In her comment Isabella says "they both shared characteristics. For example: they are both in a camp for being accused of something they didn't do". I am not sure if that is extremely accurate. Ivan did not commit a crime as harsh as he was imprisoned for, however, he did join an army that was fighting against the USSR. The boy from Holes, is falsely accused. Ivan was mistakenly taken as a spy, even though he was trying to flee. This is a comparison that I found interesting in her comment. Both camps are similar in a few characteristics, but I believe that the background of the situation is completely diverse. Holes is much simpler, as it is a camp for juvenile delinquents. The Gulag has much more political aspects which are deeply influenced by the USSR's state and position at the time. Don't you agree that Holes is sort of a easier and lighter version of the Gulag for kids?
    Overall, a very creative post that made me see other comparisons that I had not noticed before.