Mattay's Reviews > One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich

One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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M 50x66
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Apr 07, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: syllabus
Read in April, 2012

It may seem that I was 'forced' into reading Solzhenitsyn's novel. For school, we were required to find and choose a supplementary text that can fall under the topic of 'powerplay'. Going through a recommendations list, I picked One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich. And in the end I can say it was a good choice. Although it was mainly for academic purposes, I still enjoyed reading this novel. And it is the 'powerplay' in it that made it engaging. As the reader follows the footsteps of one day in the life of a Soviet prisoner named Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, he/she will be gripped by the constant (and sometimes humorous) changes in power i.e. sometimes the guards display their complete dominance over the prisoners, and at other times it is the prisoners manipulating the guards and exploiting the situation. Shukhov's recount of just a single day in a gulag camp reflects what all prisoners would have felt everyday under Stalinist Russia, and so one could also learn about the hardships faced by those sent to these work camps. Overall, One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich was not only a good choice as my supplementary text, but a good read altogether.
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