Saturday, August 23, 2014

Risk Taking Researcher - Jorge Ribeiro

As I read these first pages of the novel, I wanted to know more about these Gulags, and why was there so many people put in these prisons during the madness of World War II? I started to research and found out that ti wasn't because of the time period, but it was that this prison was made to be a prison that imprisons from petty criminals, to political prisoners. Gulag was a short name for its official name which was Гла́вное управле́ние исправи́тельно-трудовы́х лагере́й и коло́ний, translating to be Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Labor Settlements. This Gulag had many different camps, in March 1940, there were 53 separate camps and 423 labor colonies, and it received more prisoners than the Nazi concentration camps did everyday.

Now that I had a little bit more understanding about the setting of the story, it would be good to analyze about the author on how he chose a Gulag as the setting of the story. So in my research I found out that the reason why he made this book was to bring awareness towards the Gulags. In February of 1945 the author himself was arrested and brought to a Gulag. Later in 1950 he was sent to a "special camp" that was made for political prisoners only. This "special camp" was called Ekibastuz. So he wrote his book based on the experiences he had at Ekibastuz. So Ekibastuz was one of the Gulags there were, but the story was based on that particular Gulag.


"Gulag." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Aug. 2014. Web. 23 Aug. 2014.

"Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Aug. 2014. Web. 23 Aug. 2014.


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  3. But Jorge -
    Wouldn't the people have to build their own prisons and instead of already being sent to one. And when they were sent weren't they sent to just a polt of land in the middle of know where and they would build it up themselves. In the book doesn't Ivan say that everyday they were expanding. Also what was so different about the prison he was in and the just a regular gulag.

  4. I really liked how you clarified lots of things about Gulag camps in your post, for example, I didn't know the amount of people in one, that a Gulag has several camps and labor colonies, and that the name itself is an abbreviation. Some questions I had, though, was why where political prisioners seperated from the criminals? Is it so that the politicans don't influence the criminals to revolt? Why are politicians imprisoned in the first place? Also, what did the criminals do in the labor camps? I mean, I know that they are forced to work, but for what? Further on, what is the difference between criminal and politican camps, and is the work they do different? Overall, I think your post is very clarifying and well explained, it answered some of my questions, but it also made me think of some more (which is not a bad thing, it actually made me get more involved in the book.)

  5. I think that your post if really good and I liked the fact that you have researched about Gulags but I didn't understand the part when you said " I started to research and found out that ti wasn't because of the time period, but it was that this prison was made to be a prison that imprisons from petty criminals, to political prisoner" it just does not makes sense to me, and can you elaborate more about political prisoners? However I really liked your post as I can see that you have at least spent 3 hours posting this as you did some quality reasearch.

  6. Jorge,

    You researched your topic well by giving facts. Good job.

    After reading your first example, I thought some information you mentioned were really interesting. You said that the Gulag received more people than the Nazi camps. I think this is surprising because Hitler was actually a dictator with huge amounts of power, and if the Gulags in Russia received more than the ones in Germany, then it might mean Russia was powerful too.

    In your second example, you said that the author wrote the book because he actually went to a "special camp". In my opinion, I agree with you because of my own research. While researching, I found out that the book has similar elements from what the author passed through. One example is the one that you gave, which was that both of them went to a "special camp". Another example is when Ivan is called guilty because Solzhenitsyn was also called guilty in real life.

    After reading your second example, I also thought of a question. My question is, what else was similar or what else inspired Solzhenitsyn to write this book? The reason I ask this question is because you told me that both of them passed through the same experience, but I wanted to learn a little bit more so that I can understand the passage better.

    Overall, I understand the research you did.


    1. On the last question that you mentioned, I thought that the reason Solzhenitsyn was inspired to write this story, it was basically about the experience he had while he was in a Gulag, and also this book probably was challenged in some places, because they believed Gulag's were the right place for people to be, but the author was trying to prove them wrong. The reason why I thought that he wrote this book, it was so that people would start to protest against Gulag's, so that Russia would be free from these Soviet Prisons. He could write about this topic better than anyone, because he was in these Gulag's himself, so as he had many experiences there. I think the book will talk about how the character felt in this Gulag, and it will show how bad it would be for you to end up in one of these Gulag's.

    2. Do you think people would protest against Gulags if it was a little more humane, the labor wasn't as harsh and they gave more nourishing food? If the whole point of a Gulag was to make prisoners work for their food instead of getting it free, would you agree on this kind of forced labor? How would you handle criminals on your own country?