Untitled Essay Research Paper Words 1740

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Untitled Essay, Research Paper Words = 1740 A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich In “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”, the author tells the tale of Ivan Denisovich Shukov, a prisoner in a Russian work camp during the reign of Stalin who had been arrested for high treason. Solzhenitsyn introduces the reader to the schedule that Shukov lived out on a specific day during his sentence at the work camp. The beginning of the book depicts reveille at the work camp. As soon as the rail was struck by the campguard, which was like the bugle to soldiers, that indicated the start of a new day in the camp: a day of back- breaking work for the prisoners in the blistering cold. On this particular day, the author describes the windows being covered in frost “two fingers thick”.

I would expect this to be a normal occurrence considering the descriptions of the normal temperatures during the winter season at the camp. For example the only time the prisoners got of work was when the temperature reached below -41 degrees (Fahrenheit, I would assume). Shukov was most appreciative of the ninety minutes before all the prisoners assembled for work. This was his time; it belonged to him and to him only. And it belonged to every man. It was one of the, if not the only time of the day you had to yourself. Shukov had before always risen at reveille, but on this particular day, he didn’t. He was feeling ill. Around him he listened to the sounds of the morning: men dragging barrels of human waste out of the door, a fellow prisoner named Alyosha reciting his prayers,

a squad leader complaining about how the camp has been delivered a smaller-than-usual supply of bread loaves. Schieferstein 2 In the mess hall, it was a constant battle. Shukov had many things to worry about, like whether the cook would serve you off the top of the stew pot receiving only broth or whether the other prisoners (”vultures” as the author puts it) would try and steal your helping. If they would not steal it, they would wait until you left and scrape what they could out of your bowl. Such is life around the mess hall. But Shukov had more dignity than that. He always remembered the words of a prisoner named Kuziomin whom he met when he first came into the camp. He said, “The ones who don’t make it through are the ones who other men’s leftovers, those who count

on the doctors to get them through, and those who squeal on their buddies”. After trying to get out of work with doctor’s order because of his ill state, which did not work, and a short stop back at the barracks to receive a small portion of bread, he and the rest of the men in the barrack reported to the parade ground. There at the grounds they formed rows and were counted. Afterwards, Shukov’s group, the 104th, reported to a repair shop where they were given instructions on what to do that day. Shukov was given instructions to board up the windows of the repair shop to keep it warm. The day progressed quickly, much to the surprise of Shukov. It had approached midday and soon the dinner break came. After he ate his serving of “kasha” (oatmeal), and delivered a serving

to the Tsezar, he returned to the shop to continue his work assignment. He spent the rest of his working day laying bricks. Even though the work was physically taxing, the task went quickly and efficiently, considering everyone was on top of their own role in their brick-laying process. The only drawback was when a new Schieferstein 3 load of mortar had been mixed, the dinner signal (clanging of the rail) had been signaled for dinner. Even when they saw that the count before dinner had started and most of the bricklaying crew had run to the crowd of prisoners, Shukov himself stayed to finish the job. That’s the kind of person he was: always making use of himself in terms of any kind of work that could be done. He finished his job, and ran to the crowd, pelted by taunts and boos