Sibera

Sibera

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Illustrious Artist - Ji Won Jung

"How can you expect a man who's warm to understand a man who's cold?" pg. 23
<Old Wall>   <Joseph Stalin>   <Gulag Prisoners>

After reading a couple of paragraphs from page 23, I read this quote under the image. This quote got me thinking because it can be implemented into the world. A rich man cannot understand a poor man's situation; a white man could not understand a slave's condition; and so forth. After reading several more pages, I read the part where the prisoners were being searched out in the cold. They even had to take over their undershirts. The author tried to support and emphasise the quote under the image. 

In this picture I made, I put images I found together to show how this quote could look like. The prisoners outside the window are being sent to be searched exposed to the cold air while Joseph Stalin is inside a warm room simply shrugging and mumbling, "They'll be fine..." I think my picture shows what Alexandr Solzhenitsyn is trying to tell us in this specific quote. How he wanted to share this thought when he was a prisoner. I put these different scenes in the book together to strengthen the power of this message. Two different group of people in two different states cannot understand each other unless they have experienced the harsh conditions themselves. This wasn't the only example this quote could've been used. As I said, it could be used by a slave. A slave would've thought the same thing; a servant might've thought the same thing.

7 comments:

  1. I am glad that you chose to illustrate this quote, because I feel like it is extremely influential to the plot of this book. The men in the Gulag are treated in conditions that I consider inhumane, yet the guards seem to look at them like they are completely worthless. I believe that one man can never completely understand what another is feeling, or why they act the way they act, however they can have some empathy of sorts. Joseph Stalin was a extremely strict and harsh leader, and I believe that is one of the reasons that he acts the way he acts. He does not want anyone to oppose his beliefs. A good example of this quote would be the second world war. Hitler did not look at the world in the eyes of the Jews, or if he did, he did not care. I believe that is a key concept to express. In your image, Stalin is saying "they will be fine", however, maybe it is the other way around. He does see that it is extreme torture for the men, but he does not care, or wants to make them suffer. He does not image if it were him, because he might consider himself above the prisoners at the Gulag. Much like the guard in the image, it seems like they are superior to the rest. I see that quote as something that can show us a lot about our society, because we are so unequal. A communist society should not have that great of a difference, however just by that quote, we can see that there truly is.
    Congratulations on a great post!

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  2. Nice post. I really liked the way you connected situations all around the world. It was a great post, I got to know a little further, and about the settings in Russia. It was as if Russia had the Great Depression. I got the key point to the picture, I didn't get the wall with the bricks out of it. Was it supposed to mean the wall between two different states and the two different groups of people? I got the "They'll be fine" part of the gulag campers being okay, but not the pictures. But i got to know more of Russia's setting and Stalin's attitude towards people. Thanks....!

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    1. Juho, thank you for commenting on my post. I chose the wall to show separation as in conditions. But after reading these comments, I realized that it could have a deeper meaning. It could mean the separation between their thoughts, their beliefs, and etc. At first, I thought of the wall to show how Stalin is in a warm, protected environment, but the prisoners were in the cold surrounded by fences. Thank you for enhancing my thoughts through this question.

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  3. I understood completely what this ment, the brick wall and the whole works. i thought that you ment by the brick wallt he separation of the multiple parties and how in the quote it said a rich made can understand a poor mans condition. also i thought you did a really good job structuring this to really flow so that people could really understand the picture.

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  4. Hello Ji Won !
    I found your choice of quote very good quality. I agree , what this quote means , is that two opposite people can't understand unless they experienced both sides , the rich can't understand the poor , the white can't understand the slaves. When I read you post , I made a connection to the movie " 12 Years a Slave " ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2024544/plotsummary ). This movie is a about a "black" who become's a white men's slave. As you stated , the "white" owner can't understand the "black" slave http://www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk/sites/www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk/files/12yearsaslave2web_0.jpg. In the book's case , the guards can't understand the prisoners. The guards are not suffering , the guards are not treated badly. I consider this a big problem. This may cause for someone to do something bad to someone but not realize that thay are actually doing soemthing bad to someone because they are not experiencing the other side. An example is bullying ( http://rohan7things.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/cartoon-bullying.jpg?w=1092 ). A bully can't feel what the victim is feeling. In many occasions bullies don't realize they are doing something bad , instead they think they are doing something funny or a joke. But life is like that , you sometime s can't feel everything.

    Moving on to the image , it's very interesting. It shows Staling not feeling what the prisoners are feeling , especially because he's in a " warm "place and not in a "cold " place. This also supports the fact that two different groups can't understand each other. I also agree, many examples can be used to interpret this quote. It is actually used to refer to "How can the other's understand Shukov's fever when the others are cold and not hot " Interpreting this quote as two opposite sides not understanding each other , do you think everyone has an opposite group ? Does everyone have someone that can't understand them ?
    Great Post !

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    1. Juan Carlos, I got many ideas after reading your comment. First of all, I noticed that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn used a similar quote before. Like you said, when Shukhov had the fever and the person by the infirmary said that turned him away. Shukhov probably thought, 'how can that guy understand my fever and my condition here?'

      To answer your question I think that everyone has different perspectives. They may agree on each other but nobody can completely agree with others. There always is a difference between a human's thought. I think that the author is trying to share this idea with the readers. How he felt as if the guards were being ignorant to the prisoner's situation. (Although partially, it is to keep control and show the prisoners who is boss) Some people may share similar opinions but some may have disagreements with others statements. To sum up, I think that everyone has an opposite group although they may share similar thoughts. And everyone has an "opponent" or "enemy" that cannot comprehend their situation unless they have experienced it themselves.

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  5. Ji Won,

    Excellent choice of quote. The image you created helps us to understand what you think the quote is saying. I mostly agree with your basic point that, "Two different groups of people in two different states cannot understand each other unless they have experienced the harsh conditions themselves." I think the point is to TRY to see things from different perspectives. We do this in MUN. Can we really propose a solution unless we have fully considered the misery that children in Gaza face, or the fear that children in Israel face? You are right, we won't know what it is really like, but that let's off the hook too easily. We need to try to understand what it is like. Books like this help us to do that.

    However, in this case I see the quote more in the way that Bianca sees it, "He does see that it is extreme torture for the men, but he does not care, or wants to make them suffer." How can we understand Stalin (a man with a cold heart) when we are decent people (warm hearts)? How do we understand murderers? How do we understand ISIS who just beheaded another journalist, and has committed horrible atrocities to women and children in the areas that they control? The fact is I don't. I don't understand how humans can be so inhuman. Where does the conscience go? Don't they have any guilt at all? Like in the Charlie Chaplin speech when he talked about, "Machine men, with machine minds... you are not machines!... only the unloved hate." Perhaps that is it, but I have a hard time believing that the members of ISIS have not felt love at some point in their lives... I would think at least from their own mothers growing up... and yet they do this? It is certainly a troubling question. I don't understand evil, but I suppose that is a good thing, because I reject it. Perhaps to understand evil, is a step towards rationalizing it. To be able to explain why it happens almost legitimizes a cause. I think I choose not to understand the coldness, and instead embrace the warmth.

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