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A comparison of plot and its effect in "Antigone" by Anouilh, and "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Solzhenitsyn.

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Introduction

World Literature 1: A comparison of plot and its effect in "Antigone" by Anouilh, and "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Solzhenitsyn. Candidate Name: Irkab Demha Candidate Number: 000885 005 Naseem International School Total Word Count: 1,495 Plot is the essential arrangement of story elements and events to create significance and extend the meaning of a story. The plot draws the reader into the protagonist's life and helps the reader understand the choices that the characters make. Writers vary plot structure depending on the needs of the story. In Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and Anouilh'sAntigone, the plots have similar aspects like time scope and dissimilar aspects like pace. Each author deliberately structures his plot to create a desired effect. A similarity between the two texts is that the events of each take place during the span of one day. The play of Antigone starts in the early morning when Antigone returns from her midnight walk. It ends after a series of long events towards the end of the day as Creon states with relief, "It's been a hard day. It must be good to sleep." ...read more.

Middle

In the course of reading the monotonous and descriptive story of One Day, the reader expects more. The reader waits patiently for action, conflict and the climax to arrive, but that doesn't come. This is due to the plot's purpose which displays how Shukhov's day is dictated by others and that he cannot expect something new and exciting to happen. The reader too, soon learns not to be ambitious with exciting expectations in this story. In One Day, a defining moment such as the climax does not exist. There is no indication of climax, but there is tension throughout - whether it be Shukhov's anxiety and nervousness when he tries to smuggle a piece of metal or during the conflict between Tyurin and Der. A point of major conflict does not exist, however, it can be said that the major conflict is the scope of the book. It is a convict's (Shukhov) struggle against his oppressors. In contrast, Anouilh's play opens with conflict in which Antigone argues with her nurse, and then conflict builds up from there until the major conflict between Antigone and Creon. Complication is the main problem to be resolved in the plot. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thebes is but a name set for the city, and has no effect on plot. The absence of setting allows for the Prologue to put things into context and set the stage by introducing the characters and indicating the background of the play. Solzhenitsyn ingeniously constructs the plot to illustrate his purpose. The plot does specifically what it is intended to do. The slow pace combined with the boring, descriptive manner is reflective of the depressing life of zeks in the Soviet Union, as Shukhov says, "Damn this life of ours" (Solzhenitsyn 102). Instead of writing about the whole prison sentence of a convict, Solzhenitsyn writes about one day in critical detail to stand for the kind of life a prisoner would live in. The plot illustrates the gruesome treatment and harsh living conditions of political prisoners in gulags in Soviet Russia. Prisoners would live at the brink of death, and Solzhenitsyn shows us through Shukhov, that only by an adoption of a survival attitude of self-reliance could one last in such a harsh environment. Anouilh constructs a quick-moving, tensioned tragedy that achieves his goal of drawing in the reader, making him realize the inevitability of tragedy, and evoking an emotional response through a sense of immediacy. * Solzhenitsyn, Aleksander. One Day in the Life ofIvan Denisovich. Trans. H. T. Willets. London: Vintage, 2003. ...read more.

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