One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich Literary Analysis
1008 Words5 Pages
Freedom within incarceration in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
The paradoxical nature of the theme of freedom within incarceration is used masterfully by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to go beyond the strife and suffering of the gulags and bring to light the plight of the people outside the camps. This theme manifests itself throughout the nove. The first instance is of the artists in the camp, followed by Tsezar’s bountiful package, Alosha the Baptist practicing his religion and lastly, as the prisoners having more freedom of speech than the citizens. As A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is a work in translation, its historical context is unknown to a number of readers who are not aware of life under Stalin’s regime. To fully understand the novel, it is imperative to look into the various cultural and historical histories which moulded it.
Under the rule of Joseph Stalin, a sect developed to glorify him. The State dictated that artists had to paint him, poets had to write odes to him, and all others had to worship him. 1 “An old, bearded artist shuffled off to the C.E.D for the brush and paint he needed to touch up the numbers on the prisoner’s uniforms.”2 This illustrates how artists maintain their artistic freedom, even if to the limited extent of retouching numbering on the uniforms of the prisoners. Though they are forced to do so by the authorities they are liberated in doing a form of art not directly related to Stalin. Working not only for the authorities but