Sunday, February 8, 2015

Risk taking Researcher #1- Sophia S.

As we begin reading the book we already know that it takes place in 1950 in Russia at a Soviet labor camp. The book is about a prisoner of war, Ivan Denisovich. The interesting thing about this book is that we experience a day in his life. We experience a prisoner of war's normal day which looks pretty brutal compared to how we normally live. Before reading this book I knew nothing about the Soviet Gulag system. The Gulag is a government agency that took charge of the Soviet labor camps system which was from the 1930's to the 1950's. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the author of the novel spent 11 years in the Gulag system (1945 to 1953). In 1957 when he was exiled from his imprisonment he began writing One day.  Once he finished writing he submitted it to his editor who was so impressed with the detailed writing about the camp, that he submitted the writing to Communist Party Central Committee for approval to publish the book. Once they approved of it it was set to  Stalinist Khrushchev who then approved of that but censored some of the text. Then on it went back to the editor who then published it in November of 1962. Frome then the book become a huge success, and the author even won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970.  What I have learned while reading the author's backstory is that it connects to Ivan. What I wondered was why did the author not use his real story in the camp, but instead used a fictional character? I think Ivan was a real person Solzhenitsyn met while in the camp. Or he at least had the same personality as Ivan but he just changed the name. Or that he wanted to tell the story from an ordinary campers point of view, and told how they all lived, and included some real life things he experienced while their. Overall while reading the book it is described so well I feel like I am there with Ivan. And it is definitely a dark and scary place, that if you did not have the mind of a survivor there is no way you could not have gone insane. 

This shows prisoners of war working exceptionally hard to keep survive.

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