Monday, February 16, 2015

Risk Taking Researcher - Max H.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Rotation 2 - Pages 23-68
Risk Taking Researcher

Gulag, as described in the book. <Source>

        For last week's reading, I didn't know much about the setting, so after this week's reading, I decided to research some more about where Shukhov, or Ivan is in. Basically, this story takes place during World War II, and as stated on the back of the book, Shukhov was a Russian war soldier, yet he was wrongfully accused of doing something bad, and was punished to spend a decade in a Siberian labor camp. These labor camps were also known as concentration camps, which we looked at in class. Another term that more specifically describes this ''prison'' is a Gulag. A Gulag is a form of punishment and a system of forced labor camps during the Soviet Union. They were first mainly established in the 1930s and were used to maintain or silence those who were against the political views of the government. In fact, the actual word 'gulag' is an acronym for words in Russian which represents the Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps. Although there were some labor camps located in the Soviet Union at that time, most of the large camps were located in a desolate place from the Arctic north towards the Siberian east. This was so that the conditions for the prisoners would be in an extreme climate for living chances to be minimal.

A political cartoon concerning global warming. However, it demonstrates how prisoners such as Shukhov were mistakenly accused of treason and were sent to the gulag for being innocent. <Source>

        Moving on, the actual author of the book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, who is Alexander Solzhenitsyn, wrote a book called the Gulag Archipelago. Summarizing, this book explains and teaches the readers all about imprisonment, harm, and murder that happened all during the Holocaust. The author himself, Solzhenitsyn has called this book his ''main'' work because it focuses mainly more about what he has more interest in, and it actually was more successful than many other of his best selling novels, such as this novel we are reading. In fact, the book is called the Gulag Archipelago because it demonstrates to the reader that many gulags are spread out through an archipelago circulating various prisoners during World War II. In my opinion, it is interesting to see how Solzhenitsyn connects these two books and talks about similar events, however one in story form and the other more informative.


Cohen, Stephen F. "The Gulag Archipelago." The New York Times. The 
        New York Times Company, 16 June 1974. Web. 20 Feb. 2015. 

"Gulag: Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom." Gulag: 
        Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom. Center for 
        History and New Media, George Mason University, 2015. Web. 20 
        Feb. 2015. <>.


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  2. Dear Max,
    This post made me learn so much! First of all, I thought it was a great idea of yours to add in a funny political cartoon. After reading only the cartoon, I didn't really understand it, but your caption under it helped he understand it better. I didn't know that the author considered this his main work. I didn't even know he had more books. In addition, I also learned from your post that it was on purpose that the Gulags were in could places. Why do you think the government did this?
    Lucas T.