Мир Знаний

One Day In The Life Of Ivan

Denisovich: Summary Essay, Research Paper

One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich: Summary

In the book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the main character Ivan and

the other prisoners in the camp are treated very badly. Ivan tries to make

himself warm and to get enough food to keep himself alive. He does only what is

necessary to please the guards and the commanders of the camp. Ivan uses his

intelligence to make his life easier so he can save up more energy to face the

work load. He and the members of the 104th group manage to survive because of

Ivan’s personal attention to himself and his care about the others. More

importantly, Ivan survives because his intelligence, his spirit, his deception

and careful teamwork.

Ivan has to be smarter than the guards in the camp, so, he will not get into

trouble and get treated even worse than he does. When Shukhov and Senka want to

transport the hacksaw-blade that Ivan found back at the camp, Shukhov removes

both mittens, one with the blade. He then unbuttons his coat and let the guards

search him. They search him side and back and his pocket, and one guard also

crushes the mitten that Ivan holds out which is the empty one. This was in the

book as,

He was about to pass him through when,

for safety’s sake, he crushed the mitten

that Shukhov held out to him – the empty one. (Solzhenitsyn, Pg. 107)

The smart move that he does is to place the empty mitten on top and take the

risk that the guard will only search the empty one. Shukhov was lucky. Another

example of having to be smarter is after they find the wood panels, they want to

carry them back to make the place where they work warmer. Shukhov knows that if

they carry it flatways, it will be easily noticed by others, so, they hold it

upright in between them and set off. If they are seen by the superintendent, for

instance, it will look as if there are three of them walking together. In this

way, they cheat the guards as well as the superintendent, because Ivan and the

others have use their intelligence.

Ivan mush has a strong spirit to survive in the camp, he uses his spirit to make

himself feel better in the camp, so, he can live happier and longer. He always

thinks about the future, which make an outcome for himself. Without an outcome a

person may become very sad and do not want to do anything, so he actually make

himself live longer. For example, “Freedom meant one thing to him – home”

(Solzhenitsyn, Pg.140). He is still thinking of home which he thinks that he

still have hope to get out of the camp. so he wants to save his own life and go

home in order to have freedom. Also, in his mind, work is not for money, but for

satisfaction. So, he does not think that work is boring and hard to do, he

thinks that they are chagelles.

Ivan is careful about what he does in the camp, therefore he does what is

appropriate to do in the camp. He does not take other person’s left overs to eat

even when he is extremely hungry. This reduce the chances of getting disease so

he may live longer. When Ivan is sick, he goes to the sick bay and he does not

hang around very often there, unless he is feeling really ill. The man in charge

of there will not think that he is just pretending. Also, Shukhov has made his

own spoon to use, so he does not have to use hands to eat. This again can reduce

the chances of Ivan getting diseases. Therefore, Ivan can survive because of

what he does in the camp.

Ivan has to be deceptive in order not to be discovered by the guards and the

prisoners. When he sees a bit of a hacksaw blade on the ground, he thinks that

he has no immediate use for it, but he still keeps it and hides it in a cobbling

knife and perhaps trade it for bread. Furthermore, a good towel can make a man’s

work better, Ivan therefore have fools the person in charge of the tool-store

and get the best trowel. He hides it so that he can work a lot easier with that

good trowel. This was in the book as, “Shukhov had fooled the man in the tool-

store and pocketed the best-trowel; and now he kept it hidden in a different

place every evening” (Solzhenitsyn, Pg.48). Also, after work, the team wants to

get back to the mess hall faster than anyone else, and after they get there,

they will look for the bowl that have the thickest food in it. In this way, they

can have more food. Moreover, Ivan hides his food for later use. He hide his

food under his mattress so that he can eat it when he is hungry at night. So,

his deception makes his life a lot easier in the camp.

Ivan survives by strong teamwork, when he and the other zeks got a new project

given by the camp authorities. The team leader separate the work assignment so

that everyone does receive similar amount of jobs. They can work more

comfortably if they have only one task to perform. However, when they are sent

to build a wall at the power station, they decide to fix the stove to keep warm

while they are mixing the motar to build the wall. Therefore, they separate the

works as follows: Shukhov is put to fixing the stove-pipe; Kilgas is to repair

the mixing box with the two Estonians to help him, Senka has to chop long laths.

Moreover, when building the wall, they have to have good work report. The

captain of the team has to make up a very good work report, that sounds much

works has been done very efficiently, so that his team can have extra food. For

example, when they crowd the iron stove, the men hear the news the team-leader

has been successful in fixing the work-report. In fact, they really have not

done anything. They get good rations for five days. It is in the book as, “A

cleverly fixed work-report meant good ration for five days” (Solzhenitsyn,

Pg.72). Also, Ivan also help other members of the team on their work, when

Gopchik brought some Aluminium wire to Shukhov and ask Shukhov to teach him how

to make a spoon. Shukhov teaches him, so, both of them can have less chances of

getting the disease. This is in the book as “it’s good for making spoons. Teach

me how to cast them.” (Solzhenitsyn, Pg.53). By teamwork, they save up more

energy and get works done easily.

Ivan survives his life in the prison camp because of his personal attention to

things such as his food and his care about the others when he works as a team

member. He is also smarter than the guards and the other prisoners so that he

does not get into trouble easily. He is also deceptive in order to get better

food and tools to work with. He also has strong spirit to face the harsh life

because he know he will have freedom in two years. When Shukhov and the other

prisoners are treated badly at the camp, Shukhov is able to do better to keep

himself alive.