During this week's reading section, one of the things that most amazed me in this part of the book was the fact on how harsh life could possibly have been inside a gulag labor camp. As we have seen throughout the entire book, just by looking at Shukhov and his teammates building all day long, being treated like stray dogs, enduring the striking, cold weather, and receiving mediocre amounts of food, we could see absolutely the extreme difficult conditions these prisoners lived in. Just to imagine, it is totally inhuman what Stalin made to petty thieves and "traitors" of the nation at the time of his govern. However, the main reason why I am emphasizing this is because in the end of this all, it is very crazy that the actual author passed through all of this for countless years in this concentration camp. Overall, the most important thing that was required to survive all this time there inside was his persistent, unrelenting will that carried his body until the end of this tremendous, lengthy journey. Another example of persistence is the ex-president of Brazil, Luís Hinácio Lula da Silva. Even though I don't support him at all as a politician and person, I have to confess, he definitely is a good example of endurance. Along the years, he'd been a candidate for four times in a row, yet he only won the last fourth one. Even though he kept losing the elections three times straight, by not giving up and fighting until the end, he was able to make himself president. A final example to this would be the ex-soccer Brazilian player, Ronaldo. After suffering a tremendous lesion in his knee at the year 2000, all the people around the Brazil said he was never going to go back to his original self and would never play soccer again. Nevertheless, in spite of all the challenges he had to face, Ronaldo was able to recover from his injury and was even made world champion in 2002. Furthermore, moving on to a completely different person in history, we could also see Martin Luther Jr. Persist as well for the rights of the blacks in America. About 50 years ago, white and black people weren't allowed not even in the same buses, streets, schools, neighborhoods, and work facilities. Basically, both of them held a huge hatred towards each other. Even though everything seemed lost in the distance, MLK saw the hope through his eyes and always tried to defend his people and spread racial equality throughout the country. Fortunately, due to his heroic acts against racism, the discrimination generally stopped and unified black and whites. Last but not least, we can also take a look at Mahatma Gandhi, which endured and faced a very powerful country that England was and still is to free his fatherland, India from the British Colonies. India at the time, was only composed of small kingdoms dominated by the Maharajahs. When Britain conquered the land of these leaders, they took control of the subcontinent that is now India, which was restricted to trade and develop as an independent nation. England, as it was selling all its products to the Indian people, dominated the commerce. Nonetheless, Gandhi rose and persudaded the local people to buy looms for their homes, so they wouldn't need to buy any English products, boycotting the products coming from there. After this event, doing some civil disobedience, the UK was obliged to recognize the independence of the Indian nation. In general, Mohandas Gandhi never took back his words and was able to accomplish his goal through motivation and great spirit. As you can see from the quote above that I inserted, the true key to success, as we could see from the past examples, including Shukhov, is to never give up no matter how awful the situation might seem, even if it is as terrible as the conditions of a gulag.
Throughout this book as a whole, another thing that really called my attention in all these topics floating about was how Shukhov was able to conform himself in being there for a technical mistake, and that he could have been living the decade he spent in the gulag normally. Recently, I have watched a movie called The Green Mile, which is about a man who is sent to jail, accused of murder as a mistake. The man was an african-american that was condemned to a death sentence because of the killing of two twins in the house he worked in. One of the most reasonable causes of why he was sent to jail without any evidence was probably his skin color. Obviously, the true murderer behind all this was actually the other employee. In the end, the man gets electrocuted in the electric execution chair, even though being innocent. In fact, the movie is actually based in a real life event, just for you to get a glimpse of how the justice can fail at the times that it is most needed. Now, finally, as a last example I would like to mention a person that fits in both categories of persistence and injustice, which is Nelson Mandela. As you might know, Nelson was the president of South Africa for a significant amount of time, fighting for the freedom of the black people in the nation, as the minority of white men were the ones that had most of the power. Just because this man fought for the right of his people, he actually was jailed for about 30 years, and he did not even complain. Instead, he was conformed and stayed this enormous amount of time serving his sentence. This might just be the biggest case of inequality practiced over a long period of time. Despite all of these facts, Mandela never gave up on his convictions and fought until his last breath in this world.