One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Rotation #4: pgs 134-167
"The belly is a demon. It doesn't remember how well you treated it yesterday; it'll cry out for more tomorrow" (Solzheinstyn 142).
The prisoners received barely any food to survive. And if the prisoners found a bowl with still a little bit in it, they would of course lick it out. Somedays they got oatmeal that tasted like nothing and somedays got stew, the only good thing about it was that it was hot. "That bowl of soup--it was dearer than freedom, dearer than life itself, past, present, and future" (Solzheinstyn 126). "If someone doesn't finish his stew and pushes his bowl back, there are always people hustling to pounce on it, like vultures" (Solzheinstyn 140). Each prisoner also received a few ounces of bread, and they said that if they got a couple more ounces than they usually do, it ruled their life. And if the squads had good work reports it meant that they got good rations for a few days. Even though the prisoners didn't receive like any food, they were still cautious about how they eat it. "But food gulped down is no food at all; it's wasted; it gives you no feeling of fullness (Solzheinstyn 25). As you can see, the prisoners cherished their food even though they basically received nothing.
"D'you mean to say you think Old Whiskers will take pity on you?" (Solzheinstyn 146).
Old Whiskers is the name that the prisoners use to refer to Stalin. Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union. "Stalin forced rapid industrialisation and the collectivization of agricultural land, resulting in millions dying from famine while others were sent to camps" (biography). "The Soviet Union was transformed from a peasant society into an industrial and military superpower. However, he ruled by terror, and millions of his own citizens died during his brutal reign" (history).