A Man In Despair Essay Research Paper

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A Man In Despair Essay, Research Paper A Man In Despair In Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, prison camps are a brutality to which a person simply has no choice but to adjust. As the environment changes, a person must adapt as well. One needs to maintain satisfaction, concern for others, and dignity (Lee). For any prisoner this establishes a difficult task, especially for Fetiukov whose stretch harms him emotionally and physically; the forces of hardship deny him rights and play a role in destroying his human dignity. Fetiukov dissolves into a broken man as a result of the Siberian labor camp; his self-respect, integrity, and morality have evaporated from his character. First, the will to survive lies in a man whose self-respect seems lower

than his fellow inmates. Fetiukov, a troubled prisoner, searches for solace in his present situation. He has no self- respect for himself; he shows that prisoners cannot always adjust to sociological changes. Fetiukov has no pride; he will stare in a man’s mouth and not even feel shameful. “Fetiukov, that jackal, had come up closer too and now stood opposite Tsezar, watching his mouth with blazing eyes,” (536). Most other prisoners would ever lower himself like that; he would never stare at a man’s mouth. No other prisoner but Fetiukov would pick up cigarette butts off a dirty floor. “Fetiukov, the jackal, had been collecting cigarette butts and now he was breaking them up and filtering the un-smoked tobacco onto a piece of paper” (553). In addition to some other

insignificant actions, Fetiukov’s he lets his fellow inmates see his inferiority to them when he surrenders Shukhov’s breakfast (537). His fellow “gang members” know him as the kind who would look after everybody’s bowl. As a result, Fetiukov’s lack of self-worth results in his poor reputation as a man who has no pride; by staring in a man’s mouth, picking up cigarette butts, and displaying low status, Fetiukov shows his inferiority to his fellow prisoners. Additionally, Fetiukov’s integrity seems even worse than his self-respect. In the midst of the compassion from his fellow inmates who want to help him, he continues to be an outsider. He engages in more foolish acts that only lower his reputation. He believes that he can survive with his disparity. The men see

that Fetiukov will not live to see the end of his stretch. “His attitude was all wrong,” (566). Fetiukov’s attitude irritates the other prisoners because he always judges them. He always has to get his point across even when in error. He tries to show the other prisoners his superior intelligence and that he’s better off than they are. However, as Fetiukov carries on through the days, he continues to hold himself back from hard work. “Fetiukov grew lazier and lazier. He’d tilt the barrow as he would come up, the lousy scum, so that the mortar would slop out of it and then it’d be lighter to carry” (574). A lot of the prisoners were unhappy if they were required to work with Fetiukov since he cannot work without complaining. Thus, Fetiukov envies Shukhov. After

noticing that Shukhov takes extra portions for lunch, “Fetiukov cast angry looks at Shukhov and the captain . . .” (566). A jealous man, Fetiukov envies the prisoners because they work together as a team. As a result, Fetiukov’s integrity evaporates because he judges the other prisoners; he does not want to work hard, and he envies all of the others. Most startlingly, Fetiukov shows bad morality towards his associates. He persists with his foolishness and stupidity. His behavior remains shocking; he continues with no self-importance. “Fetiukov had the last place in the squad, lower than Shukhov’s” (536). He presents himself as the kind who would sit and hold another prisoner’s bowl for him. Also, “Fetiukov was the sort who when he was looking after someone