A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
By: Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Historical Context Blog
History has paved the way for the future and in one of these roads, a highly controversial book, One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich, written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn has sprouted from the fall of the Soviet Union. With his first-hand experience of the horrid Gulag System, which spread through most of the Soviet Union, but has a high concentration of camps in Siberia (Wiki), Alexander Solzhenitsyn describes how tormenting and long was one simple day was within these concentration camps. Through analysis of the book and current knowledge of the author, the reader was able to conclude that he was desperate to spread the word and preach to the world on the abysmal and inhuman conditions the prisoners had to work and survive in. Alexander Solzhenitsyn also talks, in multiple scenes, how many of the prisoners were convicted unjustly and unfairly. Also, it has been proven that many of the people were writers and artists because they had thought out of the box and were expressing their thoughts, which the Soviet government did not approve (Gulag History).
Many of the issues that may have inspired the author to write and publish this book was the fact that it was constantly banned, maybe giving him a moral raise on why he should publish this book, to defy the government which had imprisoned him(Wiki). Some other cultural problems that may have arisen and caused this book to be written was how unfair this system was to the people. One example is Ivan Denisovich, who I imagine the author pictured as himself. I believe that he felt betrayed by how fast his comrades were to turn on him. Also throughout this book I felt a strong idea of survival. The most prisoners worked together to survive, apart from the squealers, but the moment one of their fellow prisoners fell down they would turn on him making it harder for him to survive, but making it easier for the others.