What is the cultural and educational background of the author and how did this background influence the book? In what ways do the events in the books reveal evidence of the author’s world view?
Alexander S., the author of this book lived in the soviet union for part of his life. Ever since he was young he wanted to become a writer, but because he needed to stay at home and take care of his mother he was only able to get a mathematical education. At a later point in his life, he did manage to get some literary education. In 1945, he was arrested for making some disrespectful remarks about stalin in some letters to a friend and ended up being sentenced to 8 years in work camps. After this, he was exiled for life to Kazakhstan where he taught math and physics to primary school students.
Because he said that his knowledge of mathematics is what helped him survive the camps and his exile, I think that this influenced the way that the camps are portrayed in the book. For example, I feel like Ivan would have a slightly more grim outlook on the camps if Alexander had not learned what he did and had a more pleasant experience in the camps than some others. So far, I think that the events in the book show evidence of the authors world view by portraying an experience that is truly terrible. I think that because he likely does not have the best world view showing something terrible is his way of expressing that his world view is kind of dismal. In addition, I think he is getting people to feel compassion for people in these situations so they want to help get rid of awful situations like this because people needing to help one and other is probably a world view he adopted.
|Rostov University, where Alexander studied mathematics|