Describe a choice made by a character in the novel. Why did the character make this choice? Was his or her action justified?
In the book the "prisoners" were getting checked to make sure they had no possible weapons on them. Shukhov was very used to this, in his eight years at camp he has never had anything in his pockets that shouldn't have been there. However, he still checked his pockets just to make sure. This time, he found something, a little broken piece of hacksaw blade that he picked up at the building site. He didn't mean to bring it, but he didn't want to throw it away int the snow. There were only two rows of people ahead of him and one of the rows was stepping forward to be searched. He had to decide what to do and quickly. He didn't want to throw it in the snow, so he chose to put it in his left mitten. He took his mittens off and held them in one hand, with the one without the hacksaw blade in front. The guard crushed the first mitten in his hand, luckily he didn't crush the second one otherwise the hacksaw blade would have been found. I think the reason he made this choice is because he thought the hacksaw blade might come in handy later on. I think being in the prisoner camp that he's in made him learn that even the smallest things could have some sort of value. For example, in the book Shukhov thought "Why, he could make a little knife out of it, very handy for shoe repairing or tailoring!" (pg.123) This quotes shows that little things do have value, you just have to think of something you could do with it. I think if Shukhov never went to the prisoner camps, he would never have thought that a hacksaw blade could ever be any help to him. His choice of keeping the hacksaw was justified, he didn't get caught, and he got to keep the blade.