- What theme or themes does the author explore in the novel? Which passages in the text connect to theme?
A great amount of themes are present in the book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. But, there is one theme that is the most evident, teamwork. We can clearly see that when the prisoners are working together to make the wall. They have to work together to be able to finish the work. The squad divides jobs so that everyone can help and for the work to be done faster. On page 101 it says, "What a pace they set! They were driving along the fifth row now. They'd had to bend over double when they were working on the first row, but now the wall had risen shoulder-high." We can see that they were working really fast and getting their job done in a small amount of time. One prisoner wouldn't be able to build the wall alone. If the person who was bringing the mortar up wasn't there, the work wouldn't be done so fast. Every person in squad is important when they are working together to finish a job. If one person didn't cooperate and just wanted to sit out, the work wouldn't be done so fast. Every person in the squad has to work together and give their best in order to get the work done. "The light was dim, and the men sat gazing into the fire. Like a big family. It was a family, the squad" (Solzhenitsyn, 83). They are like family. They have to trust and have faith in one another. The family has to work together in order to get their work done. They have to work together to be able to get food. If they didn't finish their work, they would get food and would have starved. So, they have to have teamwork and work together to be able to survive in the camp. The squad leader is like their dad. When he tells us to do something, everyone does it. If one person from their squad is missing, he takes the punishment and covers them up. They are also like their mom. On page 87 it says, "That's what a squad is. A guard can't get people to budge even in working hours, but a squad leader can tell his men to get on with the job even during the break, and they'll do it. Because he's the one who feeds them. And he'd never make them work for nothing." The squad leader is also the one who feeds them because he is the one who hands in the work report. He has to write it in a way to show that all his men worked really hard so that they have food. It all depends on the squad leader if they get food or not. That is why the squad leader is also like their mom. The rest of the people in the squad are like his sons and they are all brothers. A family always helps each other and go through good and bad things together. They always work together and help one another. The squad is a family that always works together.