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One Day In The Life Of Denisovich

1576 words - 7 pages

From the years 1927 - 1953, the people of the Soviet Union experienced the Stalinist era. This was different, a more radical type of government than what the Russians were used to. Now dictators, such as Stalin, ran governments. Many were put into Communist labor camps, which were just like other concentration camps during their era. Throughout this paper, the reasons why the Communist labor camps were like other concentration camps will be mentioned, as well as how people of this camp demonstrated the characteristics of totalitarian regime, and how people's behavior brought out the effect of Stalin's Communist regime on the Soviet Union during this period will be dicussed.Concentration ...view middle of the document...

If the prisoners did not get up on time, then they would be punished and most likely have to spend time in solitary confinement. The area of confinement had "brick walls, cement floor, no windows and a stove that was used to melt the ice" (Solzhenitsyn 128). That would not be a great place to have to spend any time, especially since the since they would have to sleep on hard boards. Tha guards showed no pity towards them and that brought forth fear in all of the prisoners.In Shukhov's case, he was feeling aches and pains. Some would say that he was a bit under the weather that day, but he would still be required to do some work or else he would be punished. So the guards did not care at all for the prisoner's well being. They just wanted the job to be done. Also when the prisoners were to work they were not given much. They could not wear extra clothing because then soldiers would think that they were attempting to escape. So they had to freeze in the cold weather. Shukhov went to the doctor's office in an attempt to be excused from work for the day, but that was pointless. The new doctor only prescribed ill prisoners to not work. He said that work "was a first rate medicine for any illness" (Solzhenitsyn 18). The doctor was not concerned with what was good for the prisoners; he was only concerned with getting he work done. If the prisoner just skipped work because they were not feeling well, then they would be in a great deal of trouble because the doctor would most likely not say they were ill. That could possibly cost the prisoner his life. The day would consist of the prisoners just doing work all day. They were given little breaks during the day. Three of them were for meals, but the prisoners never felt like they were being properly nourished. Prisoners of lower ranks sometimes did not receive any rations of food at all. Solzhenitsyn mentioned how when Shukhov was running late for breakfast , a different prisoner was watching his food in hopes that he would be able to feast on it. Solzhenitsyn mentioned how the prisoner "did not hang around - no hope for any leftovers" (Solzhenitsyn 13). While in that prison, the prisoners were told that they ought to "forget their families" and "must live only for themselves" (McKay 987). That was what their life was like, they had to just care about themselves and then they would be able to make it in those labor camps.A totalitarians regime is a government where the "authority takes absolute control over all aspects of life. Anyone that opposes the totalitarian regime, either politically or culturally would be suppressed and the individual is subordinated to the state". Examples of this in the book were how they made everyone get up so early in the morning or else the people that did not get up would be punished. Three individuals show how this was a totalitarian regime. They were Tiurin, Shukhov, and the captain. In the case of Tiurin, he was sent to that camp because of the fact that his father had...

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