Monday, October 13, 2014

Question Commander

Week #1
Pages 3-22

1) How old do you think the prisoners are? 
Since I've just started to read the book, I don't have as much information to answer all my question. Overall, since from what I understood they are in a prison, I thought they were adults. The way they had to work, and be responsible proved that they were grown-ups. Although, what really made me doubt my understanding, was the way they ate. In the book it stated that when they ate, they would spit out the fish bones onto the table. That showed that they were either disrespectful and not well educated or that they are children and don't know how to behave well yet.  

3) How long have they been in prison? 
As I was reading the book, I realized that Ivan knew all the rules, as if he was raised with them. He clearly knew that he had to announce that he was sick in the evening, he knew were the guards were standing, he knew what the meals were for every season. Also, This indicates that he has been in locked in this prison long enough to be very familiar with the rules.

  3) Why are there so many rules? 
One of the reason I think there are so many rules is because they are in a prison. The fact that they are captured for doing something wrong should be a punishment. Adding onto their punishment, they have to work and follow the rules. Also, I think that if they don't follow the rules or they get caught by the guards doing something that's not right, they might get an even bigger punishment, that is because Ivan showed fear when he saw the guards. As he was "breaking" or "not following"one of the rules, he showed a big concern with getting caught.


  1. Question 1: I don't know what ages of people went to these camps, but Ivan said he had a beard, so I think he might be in his twenties or thirties? I don't think they have very young kids, because they aren't strong enough to work, but there are probably many older people. Something I wondered about was gender. Martina, do you think there were only men or women as well in this camp?
    Question 3: As you said, there are so many ruled because it adds on to the prisoner's punishment. I also think it is because without rules and punishments, these prisons would not function.

  2. Dear Martina,

    I think you put up great questions that truly pushed our thinking foreword.

    Now in terms of question one, I do agree with both you and Alicia because you both gave great examples from the text that shows Ivan is not a child. I believe that one of the main clues to answering this question is what Alicia said about the beard. This fact shows us that the main character is not a child, but probably a grown up man because of his understanding about the rituals and rules from the prison.

    Question two: relating back to the previous answer, I infer that Ivan has been in the prison for the minimum of two years to gain as much understanding as he has.

    Question three: to me it is clear that the rules are made to force the organization of a place with so many people. I also think that the prisoners have to follow these specific rules because they are meant to force the prisoners to reflect upon the actions that brought them there.

    Thank you Martina for pushing my thinking farther,