Saturday, September 6, 2014

Illustrious Artist – Daniel Choe

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Author: Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Rotation 3

Job #5 – Illustrious Artist

Pages: 69 - 105

While reading the book, I discovered a topic that kept standing out, which was food. On pages 69-71, this topic is introduced. These pages state that prisoners work and help the cook just so they can get another bowl of kasha, or in other words, just so they can get more food. The reason the prisoners work more is because they get really hungry while they are working outside, meaning that they do not care about the work, but care about the food they will get granted. 

This drawing I made is exactly about the topic I noticed. To start explaining, let me start with the left side of the drawing. The pickaxe hitting the rock shows tough work, since it isn't easy to break rocks with only one pickaxe. It also shows what prisoners do in real life, and in the movies, which connects to the book, since Ivan is a prisoner. Now, the drawing in the right is of oatmeal, because it shows what the prisoners eat, and what they really want. Going into further detail, the only available food for lunch and dinner in the Gulag is oatmeal, proving that oatmeal is what prisoners eat. Adding on, the reason I said prisoners really want is because they still starve, even after eating one serving, meaning that they want more than what they get. The arrow in the middle is to show reward. Like I said in the first paragraph, prisoners are granted oatmeal for working more, and in this drawing, the arrow shows that work gets prisoners food.

Overall, there were more topics that appeared in the story, but hunger appeared to be a stronger topic than others.

Inspiration credit (Images that guided me on drawing):






  1. Daniel, I like how you brought this topic up of you get what you earned. I agree with this statement. You should get what you earned, no more no less. It helps you give purpose to work harder. Like you said, you can get an extra bowl of oatmeal if you help the chef, but this isn't communism. This isn't what the government promised. Communism is when you collect and divide equally. Getting more by working more is the opposite. This could be one of the things the author is trying to tell us; that the gulag prisons are terrible and that they get too little that they must help a lazy chef in order to get an extra bowl of kasha. Do you think that people should get what they earned, or do you think that people should get the equal amount of everything? Do you agree that work --> food? If not what do you think?

  2. Daniel, I think that your drawing is really nice and clear. I liked how you sourced the picture you got your drawings ideas from and you named it. I also liked how you mentioned that the topic of food stand out, that is why you drew this. It is nice that you put the pages number. In conclusion, your blog post was really good not only the drawing but also how you explained you drawing and your blog post. Daniel, do you think that hunger is a big problem happening in the book?

  3. Daniel ,
    I really liked your drawing. I agree , basically what this section of the book talks about is what the prisoners eat at Gulag Camps. You are right , the prisoners work hard everyday and there amazing reward is a simple bowl of oatmeal ! Here is a link to my post , which part of it is related to your drawing:

    Your post also reminded me of this saying " ""
    This supports the idea that hard work gets a good reward. In this case hard work gets oatmeal , which in my opinion is not what the prisoners deserve. Daniel , what do you think the prisoner should eat instead ? And , do you think the leaders would agree with your choice of meal ?

  4. Daniel,
    I really liked your image, it basically summarizes these pages in a great way. Although, you missed one aspect of the process. In one of the pages it describes that the work actually done is not as important as the actual work report done by the squad leader. This makes sense, as the people highest on the social ladder do not go and check on the work. I also agree with how food really stood out in the passages, which is also why I made a question about this in my post. My question wasn't really geared towards why prisoner's thought the food was important, but actually why the author included it in the book. Finally I enjoyed how you used references to draw your image, and how each part you drew was essential to the final image/how you had explained each section-