Sunday, May 17, 2015

Literary Analysis- Marina Dissinger

Marina Dissinger
One Day in the Life
Rotation #5
Literary Analysis

  1. What theme or themes does the author explore in the novel?  Which passages in the text connect to theme?

The famous novel "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" contains numerous themes, but the one which seems most present in the novel is Respect. Alexandr became faous in 1962 with the publication of the novel in the leading Soviet leterary journal of the time, Novy Mir (New World).

Despite the horrible living conditions in the Gulag which they were imprisoned, the prisoners try their best to treat each other with respect and kindness. Although they live in inhumane circumstances, like receiving only 200 grams of bread per day (Solzenhenitsyn, 17), and sleeping in flat mattresses with holes in them (Solzenhenitsyn, 5), shows that they are able to overcome obstacles for the sake of respect. 
One example is that although the guards call on the prisoners by number, the prisoners themselves do not repeat this action of turning humans into objects, but to respect each other and threat each other equally (Solzenhenitsyn, 14). This is clear in Shukhov’s ability to construct things, whether walls, knives, spoons, or friendships. He maintains his dignity not by openly rebelling against the system that confines him, but rather by living in a civilized manner despite it. Many actions that 
Shukhov takes demonstrates his respect towards things, like when always removes his cap before eating, and forces himself never to hurry through a meal. Unlike Fetyukov, he never begs, instead consistently demonstrating by his own example that it is possible to retain one’s dignity even under the most inhumane and undignified of circumstances.


  1. Marina,
    I thought your post was good. Except I think you should add a few more themes from the book to make the post more insightful. Also I think you should put a direct quote from the book to push our thinking more forward, and you should also consider adding more pictures to your post.

  2. Marina,
    I really enjoyed the fact that you have an image that moves! It is really appealing to the eye, and that intrigues the reader. Also, I see that you have many citations, and that shows me that you have gone back into the book several times to check and find information. Adding on, it is really good that you could connect the theme of respect to the novel, and to explain how it is incorporated into the novel. It is really good that you have examples of the times where the character shows respect in the book. Overall, your post is really good! Keep up the work!

  3. Marina,

    Great job, I thought your post was really notable. Something that I perceived was that the main theme you wanted to express was respect. A sentence that struck me from your post was when you stated; "He maintains his dignity not by openly rebelling against the system that confines him, but rather by living in a civilized manner despite it". Further, this was interesting to me because I understood that he lived just fine with the life he had then. In conclusion, I thought your post and points were clever and deep.