Rotation 1- Introduction/Foreword & pg.3 - pg.22
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
1) Is there a specific system for punishments, or does it depend on each warden?
In this first part of the book, Ivan feels sick and ends up waking up after the ideal time. This warden out of thin air decides to put him in ''the hole'' as the prisoners call it. Instead, Ivan was lucky and was sentenced by having to do many painful duties such as washing the floor of the warden's quarters. Not only that, but he removes his shoes to avoid getting them wet, which is because something like shoes is a really valuable item in a place where Ivan is imprisoned. Usually, punishments are supposed to help people become more responsible for their actions, and how they should think before they act. In this case, Ivan thought he could just sleep a bit longer, but only later on he realized that it didn't pay off. Relating back, if such a cruel punishment is given, the overall point or reason of punishment is lost. This is why I ask, is there a set of rules, or limit to how one prisoner may be punished?
|An image to show the balance as equal or fair rights, and the gavel to represent punishment. In the book, these do not particularly connect because of the cruel punishment given around the time of World War II.|
2) Why is the protagonist, Ivan, in camp?
There are many possibilities at the moment of why Ivan is in camp. However, until now, there isn't a very definite reason of why this random man was sent to prison. From my perspective, the most reasonable answer is that Ivan was against the situation that was going on in Russia, and anyone who was against the political philosophy at that time would be sent to this camp. Hopefully, later on the book, the reason of why Ivan is in camp will be clarified further.
3) How do you imagine the setting in the camp?
Though throughout this first bit of the book some components of the location is revealed, it is not entirely clear what life is like in the camp. Based on the book, the story takes place in Russia, during the Soviet Union. Because of its geographical location, the weather in this place is particularly freezing cold and almost such a low temperature to not allow prisoners in camps to stay healthy. From my current perspective, I imagine the camp located in a totally deserted area, where looking onto the horizon would be like looking at white paint dry on a wall. Snow covered everywhere and a living condition that is almost inhumane. Barely any color is seen and work is all that is going on, except for transitions and meals that the prisoners have at least 3 times per day, yet they only have a short period of time.
|Small representation to show how the weather conditions might be like in the book.|