A Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich: The protagonist predicament

Essay by girlschreudHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 2003

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A Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich:

The protagonist predicament

The protagonist of the novel is Ivan Denisovich Shukov prisoner number S-854. The novel written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn: "A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich" as the title suggests one day in the life of Ivan Denisovich. The author himself experiencing a similar fate as Ivan Denisovich, but he only had an eight year sentence. Solzhenitsyn's Personal beliefs are portrayed in the characters that interact with Ivan. Ivan Denisovich was arrested while in the army and accused of betraying the Soviet Union in order to spy for Germany. He confessed, because he knew he would be executed if he didn't, and was sent to the gulag, a Siberian Labour Camp. He has a wife and children back in his village, but he is only allowed to write to them twice a year. He is serving the eighth year of his ten-year sentence.

Yet he doesn't believe that once he has completed his sentence he will be allowed to go back home to his family. As the government could postpone his sentence within the blink of an eye.

"Ivan" is his first name and "Denisovich" is his patronymic name; the form of his name in the title is a form of respectful address in Russian. Shukov is the name presumably of his parents. He uses his determination, resourcefulness, and positive attitude to survive the horrors of his camp life. Ivan manages to survive this one day, but tomorrow, and the next day, and the next years will have the small daily struggles as this day that is described. This is not only for him but also for all his fellow prisoners. He continues to remain alive as he is a logical, independent thinker and most of all...