Sunday, September 28, 2014

Line Illuminator Nico A

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Page 134- 167
Line Illuminator

“Shukhov took a little tobacco and put it on his hand. He saw it was the same as last time, the same brownish colour and the same cut. He held it to his nose and smelled it. Yes, it was the same stuff, but what he said to the Latvian was: “Don’t look the same to me.”
“Yes it is.” The Latvian got mad. “I always have the same. It is always the same.”
“Okay,” Shukhov said. “Pack that mug for me and I’ll have a smoke out of it, and then maybe I’ll take another mug.”

Old 1940s cigarette brand
This line might seem unimportant in the book, but it is another hint to how important it i to alway get as much as you can of anything when in those work camps.  This line illuminates how even when it is one crumb more, one drop more, or one inhale more, the prisoners, in this case Ivan want as much as possible no matter the size.  This is impacting.  It shows that they will do pretty much anything to survive in that camp since you can see how badly Ivan wants to get the most out of the cigarette, even if it is only one more inhale.

Although not explaining in the book, this also shows the importance of tobacco in Russia.  This book and line accurately represent smoking now and then in Russia.  Everyone in Russia smokes, from teens to Grandparents, it is the largest consumer of tobacco in the world.  Even prisoners would somehow get ahold of tobacco no matter the situation.  This line shows that if the Latvian seller has found a way to grow tobacco in -18 degrees Fahrenheit, you can easily understand how popular it is.  Not only that, but tobacco was a way for prisoners to get away from all the work, and relax a little at least for a minute a day.  Tobacco was used by the prisoners to bring back their memories of their homes.

Bread crumbs exhibiting the desire of food inside the camp
“You keep it, Ivan Denisovich.” Caesar’s gruel and now his six ounces of bread—that was a whole extra supper—and this, of course, was as much as he could hope to make on that package. And he stopped thinking right away that he might get any of this fancy stuff and he shut it out of his mind. It was no good aggravating your belly for nothing. He had his own ten ounces of bread and now this ration of Caesar’s and then there was that hunk of bread in the mattress. That was more than enough! He’d eat Caesar’s right away, get another pound in the morning, and he’d take some off to work with him. That was the way to live! And he’d leave that old ration where it was in the mattress for the time being. Good thing he’d sewed it in—look how that fellow from 75 had his stolen out of the locker, and there wasn’t a thing you could do about it.”

This also shows how badly they are in need of things in this case food.  The line connects to the other and this acts as an example.  It proves that even though Ivan is starving, he will save his bread, because if he doesn't, he will feel hungrier during work.  It shows that he will ration what he has, just like the tobacco.  He smokes the sample cigarette, and saves the one he bought for later.

These two lines impact me due to the fact that they are so badly taken care of.  If they have to ration, and live off of the foods given by a friend with a package, (his family sent him foods) then they deserve more food.  It is also impacting how difficult it is to survive in those camps, due to the fact that if they have to fight over one crumb, it is easy to see the difficulty of living there.

Excerpt From: Cahterine Kojenkova. “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.” iBooks.

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