Summary of A. Solzhenitsyn’s story “One Day of Ivan Denisovich”

The story takes place at the time of Stalin’s repressions, when millions of people caught in suspicion were found in GULAG camps, convicted of unreliability.

This is a terrible time when the unofficial law acted: “not you, so you”. Ivan Denisovich Shukhov is under a heavy hammer of repression. He, as a “state criminal” and “spy”, is arrested and sent to the camp.

Ivan Denisovich is a front-line soldier. He left for the front literally from the first days of the war. Already on June 23, 1941, he took on the heavy burden of the defender of the Fatherland, “… in February of 1942 in the Northwest they surrounded their entire army, and they did not throw anything from the planes, and there were no planes. the fact that the hoofs were chopped off the horses stained, soaked that cornea in water and ate. ” He experienced all the hardships of war. Not by hearsay knew how the Soviet state resorted to its soldiers. They were

essentially abandoned to the mercy of fate. With their own strength, they wrested their lives from the enemy. They were left to certain death. So Ivan Denisovich falls into German captivity. He and his companions drank from the cup of adversity. But Shukhov manages to escape. By his imprudence, he talks about his imprisonment. At that time all prisoners were considered spies, potential enemies of the Soviet state, since they could tell the truth about another life, about other laws and regulations. His story is a direct road to the concentration camp.

In the camp, he remembers the peaceful pre-war life in the village. He writes a letter to his family, his wife, in which he refuses to send parcels. They do not come to him. This clearly indicates that the village is also starving, and it is quite possible that more than in the camp itself. His wife’s letters show a very sad picture: the peasants are forced to paint carpets and sell them to the townspeople. This and feed on. The entire narration covers a temporary space in one day. But in this day – all camp life, with all the pitfalls, with all the hardships,

hardships, humiliations.

Before the reader is a gallery of social types. Kavtorang – a former naval officer, repressed; Caesar is a former filmmaker, an intellectual. Even in the camp, he gets some benefits and, in comparison with the rest of the convicts, lives in a lordly manner. He receives parcels, which he does not take away, to him not so strict at work. Among the prisoners there is also an old convict, who has seen species in tsarist prisons, and Latvians, Estonians are “bourgeois nationalists”, and Alyosha the Baptist, who expresses the most diverse ideas about God, and Gopchik is very young, he is sixteen years old. All these are representatives of the people. Shukhov himself is here, he is a peasant.

Solzhenitsyn also portrays people of a completely different kind. This is the camp commanders. First of all the Chief of the Volkov. He establishes his world order in the camp.

The author draws small details of camp life. The main circle of life priorities is associated with food. What they feed in the camp cafeteria is barely enough to warm up a little. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, the same unchanged bald, consisting of frozen cabbage, small fish. Additional portion of the balance is a great success. But an extra ration of bread or a portion of tobacco is a luxury that rarely falls. For this, it is necessary to work nice, to curry favor. And this is not always the case for the merits paid. Arrestees are forced to go to a variety of tricks and tricks to get a piece of bread. We have to curry favor with such recognized authorities as Caesar. But for many of the prisoners it is still important to maintain their human dignity, to remain faithful to themselves, to preserve a person in themselves. This is important not only for peace of mind, but also directly related to the problem of survival. If a person loses his will, he inevitably dies.

Another issue that torments prisoners is the question of the attitude towards forced labor. In people there is no longer a sense of protest, they just do not have enough strength for it. Work for them is another way to survive. In order not to freeze, people go and go to work, even the brigade with the brigade compete. This not only warms, but also adds excitement, and therefore, reduces the time until the end of the next day.

Solzhenitsyn also portrays people who have not yet lost the pleasure of working. Some poetics is present in the descriptions of the work on building a house by the brigade where Shukhov works. It’s a whole art – to properly distribute your forces so that you do not overdo it. And even more art is the ability to show yourself in the process of this work so that you can earn extra rations.

And the work needs a trick. Each piece of saw is worth its weight in gold. Of these pieces, camp residents skillfully master small knives. It’s a way to make food, tobacco, things.

High art is to not get caught by the guard, to hide his “stash” from him. Here comes a cruel game: who is more clever and more cunning. After all, the guard had the right to do anything with the prisoner. And even shoot for violating the prison regime. Therefore, to deceive the guard is also art, the art of surviving.

The day described by Ivan Denisovich is a very good day for him. He did not get to work hard. He managed to escape the punishment cell, he managed to get himself an extra portion of porridge. “The foreman closed the interest well, Shukhov put the wall cheerfully, did not get caught with a hacksaw on the shmone, earned money in the evening for Caesar and bought tobacco.” And he did not get sick, he could not.

A day passed, not overshadowed by anything, almost happy.

There were three thousand six hundred and fifty-three such days in his term from the call to the call.

Because of leap years – three days extra was added… “.

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Summary of A. Solzhenitsyn’s story “One Day of Ivan Denisovich”