One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
What theme or themes does the author explore in the novel? Which passages in the text connect to theme?
The theme of the book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is sense of value. In the book, there are many tough works that people in a camp in the Soviet gulag. the air tempareture is thirty below zero, and they have a lot of thing to do. For instance, washing the floor, carrying the barrels of excrement, moving cinder blocks, and mixing mortar. They do these works everyday in a frozen confinement. In page 51, there is a quote that shows how they want to have a rest; ”All the same, prisoners loved snowstorms and prayed for them. Whenever the wind rose a little, every face was turned up to the sky.” They were hoping for a snow storm because they would get a day off from work. Even though they hope to have a day off, the protagonist, Shukhov thinks that the life is not so bad because he has meals, and he can live. When I read this book I felt the difference of sense of happiness and worth between people in the camp, and people who live in normal and wealthy life. If you focus on how Shukhov tries to find happiness in his life, you would know how the sense of values we and people who live in the camp think different. When Shukhov eats meal, he says; “The only good thing about stew was that it was hot, but Shukhov's portion had grown quite cold. However, he ate it with his usual slow concentration. No need to hurry, not even for a house on fire.” (p.16) This line shows that he knows how precious food is. His heart of gratitude made me think of my feeling of desire and to be thankful. I believe there are many things that you realize the value for the first time after losing something important for you.