Sunday, May 3, 2015

Historical Context - Sophia Takahashi

Without History, There Would Be No Book

Sophia Takahashi - Historical Context
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Pages 68-133
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Rotation #4

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is set during the Russian Revolution, where Shukhov (Ivan Denisovich) has been sent to a gulag for a becoming a spy and other series of reasons. Without the Russian Revolution/Ivan's series of events, the ideas in the novel could have been completely different. Instead of having the story based on 'a day in the life' of a gulag prisoner, it would instead be 'a day in the life' of a Russian Revolution citizen' or some other. The novel itself wouldn't have a slight 'twist' to itself: it would be like any other novel.

The Russian Revolution started at 1917, where the Tsar, Nicholas II was overthrown, and the Russian Revolution began. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich tells us the story of a gulag prisoner living in harsh conditions during the Revolution. "Alexander Solzhenitsyn had first-hand experience in the gulag system, having been imprisoned from 1945 to 1953 for writing derogatory comments in letters to friends about the conduct of the war by Joseph Stalin, whom he referred to by epithets such as "the master" and "the boss" (Wikipedia). One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was based on Alexander's first-hand experience in the gulag itself.

Due to not conforming to Stalin and the Soviet Union in the first place, Ivan Denisovich was sent to the gulag for not conforming to the Soviet Union.


  1. Sophia, although short, your post was very enlightening and powerful, and really helped me to understand better the concepts of the novel. This mini historical explanation about the book was very good and it helped all your readers to push their thinking forward. The only things I would suggest for you to take this post even to a higher level, would be: maybe expand on this idea a little further and add more citations, but besides that, very very very good post. :) Congratulations, and thanks for pushing my thinking forward.... ;)

  2. Sophia,
    I really liked all the information you had in your post. It made me think of the book in a new way, from some of the facts you stated. I think to improve your post you could maybe add a few more citations and also add another picture, to help push our thinking even more forward. Overall though, I thought your post was really good!

  3. Sophia,

    Talking about facts, I thought yours were new and interesting. As read in many historical context posts, information is repeated and I thought that your bases touched something different. While reading your post, I had a couple of questions about the letter that Joseph Stalin discovered. My questions are how had Stalin found out about the letter, and how did he know it was Alexander’s? Maybe it could have been some kind of revenge towards Alexander, and could have been fake. How could Stalin be so sure about Alexander being the one who said these things about him? Lastly, why was writing about Stalin something wrong? I know it was some kind of criticism, but how can this lead to the imprisonment of a human being? Apart from that, your historical context post seemed short, yet really accurate.