The author of One Day, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, helped spread awareness of the Gulag and the Soviet Union's labor camps. After university, he joined the Soviet armed forces and became a captain of artillery in World War II. In February 1945, his military career ended and he was arrested for sending private messages to his friend Nikolai Vitkevich criticising the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. He was taken to a prison in Moscow, then was sentenced for an eight year term in a labour camp. After serving in several work camps, he was sent to a camp for political prisoners in the town of Ekibastuz in Kazakhstan. This is an example of the Gulag. It was a government agency that controlled the Soviet forced labor camps that was created on April 25, 1930 and ended on January 13, 1960. About 14 million people were in the Gulag from 1929 to 1953. The camps held from about half a million people to almost two million people. A total of just over a million people died in the Gulag. These Gulags were a great support to World War II. For Russia, it had provided many of the ores and metallic materials for the war. It was used to create rail roads and etc. I believe that his experiences in Ekibastuz shaped the foundation for the book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. His suffering and pain formed the theme and idea of this book. If he hadn't been to the camps and didn't experience the terror, he wouldn't have made a book this successful. If he hadn't went through the shivering cold and the hunger, he wouldn't have been able to describe the nightmare.
In 1956, Alexander was freed from exile after the 1953 death of Stalin. In 1962, One Day was published. The book was a hit at the time. The book drew attention from the West as well. Alexander Solzhenitsyn is considered as one of the greatest heroes from Russia. I believe that the purpose of this book was to raise awareness of the Gulag and the forced labor camps. Alexander's motives were successful as awareness grew more than he had expected.
"One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Aug. 2014. Web. 24 Aug. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Day_in_the_Life_of_Ivan_Denisovich>.
"Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Aug. 2014. Web. 23 Aug. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandr_Solzhenitsyn>.
"Gulag." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Aug. 2014. Web. 23 Aug. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag>.