“One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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The story of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Soviet Literature is unusual because of the basis of raw materials used. It shows cult of personality that carried painful features in the development that debunks in the party. The feature seems to be from the past even though we may see them far from us. The past cannot be differentiated from the present although we shall one-time die and be mortal; a story of truth to the people and party has to be told as much as we are working. We have a responsibility to understand nature of matters concerning abuse of power.

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““One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn”

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The story of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn shows a touching symbol of suffering for Ivan Denisovich who as dehumanized and mistreated.It happens in Russia whereby Russian people endured in the Stalinist system, Ivan and ordinary Russian was also caught in the chaos of II world war and served faithfully in the Red Army in a period of four years where he survived the bitter cold and a lot of hunger in the western front. Ivan and his friends were abducted by the Germans but after a few days they were able to escape and they returned back to Russian lines. On their arrival instead of being celebrated as heroes, Ivan got arrested by Stalin’s Supersensitive secret police and was accused of treason and that he was sent as a spy by the Germans.

Ivan being confused and fearing to be shot dead, he deliberately lied in order to save his life and he agreed to have been sent. Ivan was sentenced to ten years in Siberian Concentration camp. Alexander book tries to explain how one day was no better any worse than the other 3,652 days he spent in his sentence. This experience was the denial of justice and it was typical of Stalin’s system whereby the labor camps were full of people who may have made mere statements to the Stalin in the tattletale neighbor.Most of the Russian families never escaped this unexpected fate. You could have a brother, sister, father, cousin who was sentenced and was serving a term. Every Russian always remembers this Stalin behavior that one day happened to most of them. The pain implicated in them is hard to forget d they usually don’t like to remember the victims of Stalinist injustice.

One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich

On this fateful day, at five o’clock in the morning, the usual sound of morning reveille sounded where blows of hammer hanging on a length of rail near the staff quarters. It penetrated through the window panes and since it was too cold outside the camp guard was not keep on beating the revile for long .Ivan got up when it was still dark and as usual went to the bucket. Darkness was all over only for two yellow lights cast on the window by three lamps. Shukhov the reveille ringer who never over slept, for ninety minutes he always got up once until all had gotten out for work, this belonged to him ,not from his leaders and always anyone who would bit this will always be rewarded with a mitten sawn from someone’s old sleeve lining or having some rich loaf in the squad of dry valenki(a winter boot that was knee-length felt) right up to his bunk so that he could not fall barefoot round a heap of boots when searching his own, or moving around offering servise,sweepingor collecting utensils and taking them to where they were washed and this gave him an opportunity to lick any leftover food in the dishes.

Shukhov always remembered words from his first leader Kuziomin, a prisoner who had been hard-bitten and had been there for twelve years by 1943 who welcomed newcomers as they sat fire in the nearby forest by telling them that here men live by the law of taiga, he assured them that also people live there, many of them that make it are the left-over lickers and those who are helped by the doctors to pull through.Shukhov was not feeling well that evening, he had fever, pain all over his body and warm was not getting over him, over his sleep he was once feeling so sick and at some other times feeling better.In his sickness, he wished morning would not come but all was in vain since it had to. On this day he didn’t get up but had his head buckled in a blanket, he could not see but his ears were alert listening to what was happening outside the barrack.

He heard some of the slamming bunches of boots unto the floor from the drying shed, Chekhov now knew his fate hanged in the balance since there was a duty of shifting the 104th from the building shops to a new site. He describes that he felt that his limbs were out of joint, he the guessed who as on duty that day, it was Ivan a thin, darkened sergeant who in the begging looked like a real bastard but when you stay close to him and you know him well he turned out to be a good-natured of all other guards.

He continued laying helplessly he suddenly heard two of his neighbors quarreling of who was to go for hot water where they haggling like old women, every contacted his morning chores except Chekhov who laid on his sawdust mattress that was hard as aboard from long wear, meanwhile a colleague who on the side saying his prayers, then Buinovsky returned from the latrine and shouted to them it was twenty below, at this point Chekhov decided to wake up and report that he was sick.

Ayosh and Shukkhov at one time had a struggle where they faced each other face to face, they kept arguing, Chekhov saying that we were commanded to pray that the Lord to give us our daily bread give us this our daily bread”by this he was meaning his ratio.Ayosh plugged into Chekhov sleeve and said Ivan Denisovich pray to get parcels or an extra stew, and said that things that man looks them as high are in the eyes of the Lord Jesus. He told them that they have to pray to the Lord Jesus that he may remove the scum of anger from their hearts, in the midst one said that in their church in Polomnya they had a priest but Ayosh told him not to talk about priests and his brow followed with a lot of distress, they continued elaborating about different churches they come from. In their discussion Ayosh and Shukhov continued to talk more about God where Ayosh was seen arguing that he was not against God,Shukhov told Ayosh that he think he was happy in the cell since Jesus Christ made him to be there and unto him was a mystery why he was there this he was not expecting a war to happen in their forty-one. At one point Ayosh is seen to take part in Jesus by acknowledging his stay in prison since he was able to reflect his soul reflected the words of Apostle Paul in the bible where he said he is ready to not only to be bound but also to die for the sake of Christ. At some point there life in prison was like celebrating while in others it was too hard to bear. The act of dehumanization in prison made most of them regret being a Russian and wished war was not practiced in any of the nations.

Food in prison was hard to get them never had a full feeling except back at home, Dehumanizing of basic needs was much practiced here, and they were only allowed to certain diet since other could arouse them. The only pleasure food they were given was bread and soup and in this, they had folded their clothes in order to safeguard any crumb of bread from falling. Life in prison was full of lack but back at home, it was plentiful.

The bread here was a symbol of both physical and spiritual persistent, this book itself is a symbol of resistance and also boots were a symbol of him.


Dehumanization is an act which should never be practiced by mankind. Treat other well and you shall also be treated well. Even though life was too hard to bear in prison, Ivan and his friends had to serve the whole sentence but if justice had to be followed, most of them will be innocent. Life took another state to them because of some other greedy individuals who never listened to mere individuals.

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"One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. (2018, Dec 28). Retrieved March 30, 2023 , from

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