Saturday, May 2, 2015

Historical Context - Lexi Farnes

Lexi Farnes
Historical Context
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

“This book is a work of fiction, but it is also a kind of journalistic tell-all about a serious topic: the gulag system” (shmoop).  The Gulag System is a system of forced labor camps.  The prisoners who died of cold, hunger, and hard labor were easily replaced.  The people who survived, were most likely sent into forced exile afterwards.  “Under Stalin, labor camp prisoners became an important resource for the construction of many industries, including the nation's railways and roads, mining operations, and the timber industry” (gulaghistory)

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In One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Alexander Solzhenistyn was writing about the gulag system, because he had a first-hand experience of a gulag system.  He was arrested in 1945, because he wrote an offensive comment in a letter about Stalin.  “He was released from prison in 1953, when he was sent into forced exile in Kazakhstan. In 1956 he was finally allowed back into Russia” (shmoop).  


One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, “was the first literary work to openly discuss the oppressive policies of Stalin and the gulag system, and it did a lot to inspire future dissidents, or people who opposed the Soviet government” (shmoop).  


1 comment:

  1. Lexi,

    Nice post! I liked how you mentioned the gulag system. After reading your post, I started to wonder more about the gulag system. How does it work in terms of the people that are in the camps? I thought this was a pretty neat idea and I would want to know more about it. Now, I had a question myself about this gulag system and about Stalin. When you mentioned that they had arrested Alexander for writing an offensive comment in a letter, I somehow saw why they would put him in the camps. However, when Alexander wrote One Day in the Life Of Ivan Denisovich, I asked myself if Stalin would reprimand him for writing this book. Overall, your information was fresh and informative, specially the information about the gulag system (something new to me).