Author: Alexander Solzhenitsyn
#6 – Risk Taking Researcher
After reading the first pages of the book, I started to wonder where exactly Ivan was in the story. The reason I thought about this is because even if the book gives us a biography about the author and some context of the book, they don't state where Ivan is living exactly. Obviously, he is in Russia, but I wanted to see where he was located in Russia. After doing some research, I discovered something interesting. According to Robert Hauhart, Ivan is actually in one of Stalin's "special camps." This is because the author, Solzhenitsyn, actually passed through this experience, since he was accused and sent to a special camp (jail) for eight years. His experiences in jail were completely similar to the ones that happened to Ivan. An example was when Solzhenitsyn was called guilty and had to confess so that no worse consequences would happen. The reason why this is an example is because Ivan was also called guilty and he also had to confess. In my opinion, I think that the way Solzhenitsyn wrote this book was actually intelligent, since he can tell others his own experiences inside a "special camp". Furthermore, he can teach a lesson through a better way because he knows that he made a mistake, but he also knows a resolution.
Another thought I had while reading was, what did Stalin do to go to prison? The reason I thought of this question was that the biography in the starting of the book didn't clearly tell what Stalin did, so I decided to research. According to "Saturday Evening Post," they said that Stalin, which can also be called Joseph Stalin, enslaved millions of people. The Soviet dictator, Joseph, had a greater political power than others, meaning that he had colossal amounts of power, and that is why he could slave people. This makes me understand the book better because now I know that when Solzhenitsyn accused Stalin, it was a huge happening, since Joseph had a lot of power.
In the book, Ivan and the whole camp were suffering for low amounts of food because of the cold weather. Even if the weather was cold, the camp could still eat warm bread in the morning because there was still food left, and it could still be cooked. After reading and researching about this topic, I found yet another piece of valuable information. Once again, according to Robert's paper, he states that the words "warm," "bread," "cold," and "hungry," that appear in the story multiple times, is actually a metaphor. Adding on, he said these words actually represent what a prisoner really wants, which is food and warmth, but also represents a prisoner's nightmare, which are hunger and cold. In my opinion, I think it was a clever way to use symbolism in the book because it can enhance the reader's thinking. For example, instead of just thinking that people are suffering from shortage of food, the reader can see that the whole camp is suffering from a nightmare they are living, which is hunger.
Overall, I think Solzhenitsyn is actually teaching us in a somewhat different way, since he uses his own tragical experiences and even metaphors to enhance the meaning of his story.
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander. "One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich." Saturday Evening Post 236.5 (1963): 35. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web. 21 Aug. 2014.
Hauhart, Robert. "Bread And Warmth In ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH." Explicator 68.3 (2010): 203. Advanced Placement Source. Web. 21 Aug. 2014.