How did historical events influence the ideas in the novel? What cultural issues may have influenced, challenged, or inspired the author?
The book takes place in Russia during the time of the Soviet Union. People go into prison camps and work all day. The guard were very strict and the prisoners received very little food. The author of this book, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, was a Russian who spread awareness of the Gulag and what happened in the prisoner camps. He was arrested many times and was a prisoner in the camps. The book tells what it is like to be a prisoner in the camps. These issues that he encountered in the past inspired him to write this book. He survived the reign of the soviet union, and wrote a book on his experiences. He had to go through everything they are talking about in the book. He got a small amount of bread or any type of food, he had to work in the freezing weather, and many other terrible things. These challenges he faced inspired him to write this book. He wanted people to know what it was really like to be a prisoner. Their government lied to their citizens, and they didn't know what it was really like, no one did except for the people who have been there. All of these cultural challenges the prisoners are going through in the book are Alexander Solzhenitsyn's past. A big challenge that prisoners went through at the camps was lack of food. In the book it said "you had to eat with all your mind on the food - like now, nibbling the bread bit by bit, working the crumbs up into a paste with your tongue and sucking it into your cheeks. And how good it tasted - that soggy black bread!" (pg. 47-48) This quote shows how good just a little bit a bread can be, and that you need to savor every bit of it. It is crazy how little they feed them. They barely get any food. The book has talked about people stealing food from the kitchens because they are so hungry. Overall, there are many historical and personal aspects that inspired the author to write this book.