• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An exploration of the ways in which injustice in both novels is revealed.

Extracts from this document...


IB English A1 SL World Literature Assignment 1 Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn An exploration of the ways in which injustice in both novels is revealed. Aboobaker S. Omar Candidate Number: 2114-005 For Examination in May 2008 Word Count: 1501 Aboobaker S. Omar Candidate Number: 2114-005 Word Count: 1501 The protagonists of Houseboy, by Ferdinand Oyono, and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, as well as their comrades or friends, live servile lives and are constantly under the command of a controlling power. In Houseboy, the character, Toundi, is under the colonial authority of the French in Cameroon, while in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novel, the main character, Ivan, is a captive of the GULAG, the Russian Prison Camp authority. Injustice is a common theme in both novels, is something which both characters face, and is something that this essay will explore. The authors' motivation behind both novels, seems to be to use them as vehicles to expose the injustice that exists 'behind the scenes' of the respective systems which, might be unknown to most readers. The authors' personal experience of the colonial and GULAG systems inform the novel. ...read more.


57). The ex-naval captain, Buynovsky's dialogue with Ivan contains subtle sarcasm, which is beneficial in criticizing the system.. The use of humour in the men's exchange reveals - 3 - Aboobaker S. Omar Candidate Number: 2114-005 Word Count: 1501 the absurdity of the system as well as the inmates' awareness of it. Buynovsky proclaims that the Soviet Government has declared a new time for noon. In revealing this, it can be learned that the Government is well known for declaring absurdities without substantiation, perhaps assuming gullibility on the part of the zeks. Another exchange, between the heads of teams when they meet for the morning temperature check, tells us that the government unjustifiably hides and discolours the truth from the inmates in order so that they can get the maximum work out of them. "Oh, it's cock-eyed. It always lies. D'you think they'd hang one up that gave the true temperature?" (p. 13). If the camp authorities had displayed the correct temperature, instead of a skewed one, then they would have to stop the workers from working and would have lost out on a day's work. Solzhenitsyn again informs the readers of the inhumane conditions of the prison camp. ...read more.


Both methods are highly effective in presenting the viewpoints of the writers, regarding the issue of injustice between the controlling powers and the controlled workforce. One Day in the Life of Ivan Densiovich further utilises imagery, humour and sarcasm to convey the inequality that the protagonists face. Humour helps the prisoners to retain their sense of self amidst the monotony of their work-day in One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. In Solzhenitsyn's work, political prisoners, for no fault of their own, are held and mistreated while in the latter, the native Cameroonians are colonised and mistreated against their own will as well. In using the various methods of revelation, the authors succeed in communicating the injustice of these two diverse systems to the readers. The novels might also have motivated readers at the time to act against the systems. By communicating this injustice, Oyono and Solzhenitsyn achieve their goal of educating the readers about the problems of the GULAG and the French colonial system. The books, although fictional, were based on facts, and they serve as a 'historical' reminder of actual events. By reading these 'historical' novels, readers in the modern world can observe the consequences of the two systems, and relive them through literature. This in turn may stop such things from ever happening again. - 6 - Aboobaker S. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Character development of Shukhov in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich ...

    3 star(s)

    He is accommodating to others. He is crossing through the deprivation of food but even then in the ending of the novel he gave biscuit to Alyosha without demanding anything in return. 6"Here you are, Alyosha,'said Shukhov, and handed him a biscuit." Moreover, he helps Tsezar, who is higher in hierarchy to hide his package during roll call.

  2. How does Shukhov struggle to preserve his dignity throughout the course of his imprisonment ...

    owned every inch of it," re-establishes an impression upon the reader where he carries out his task with a sense of meaning. Shukhov even goes so far as to preserve his dignity through certain symbolic objects like a spoon and blade.

  1. Gusev Analysis. Chekov brings up two ordinary characters that are suffering under the ...

    They have contrasting characteristics and respond to life and its sufferings in opposite ways. They also represent the two classes that were involved in the struggle for social justice in nineteenth-century Russia, the peasants and the intelligentsia. Gusev is a discharged soldier from the peasant class.

  2. During the entire novel of The Sorrow of War Kien is on a quest ...

    Kien dared not sleep with Phuong, yet there was still a sense of completion and fulfillment of just lying there with her" (Ninh 142). But as the story goes on Kien pushes Phuong away because he feels deserted and feels like he can't be in a relationship at all he

  1. Sympathy, in the case of Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and Tracks by ...

    Oryx is brainwashed into thinking that child pornography is acceptable. She claims that she had a "nice owner" and "nice job." The problem is that Oryx does not have the cognitive ability to determine whether she wants to engage in sex or not.

  2. How victims of globalisation have been presented in poems, novels and films.

    Stay home where she belongs." With which in reaction, Quoyle, walks - "off to his children," symbolic of Proulx's portrayal of the local as renewing one's faith in life. Essentially, through contrasting global and local settings, the composer antagonises the Global's victimisation of individuals, and transforms Quoyle's experiences into a

  1. Effect of PTSD in Dave Eggers A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    Eggers is constantly haunted by the question of what is right-unable to make the choice due to the constant reminder of his parents? deaths. When thinking of his mother, he says, ?I am there. I was there. Don?t you know that I am connected to you?

  2. In what ways do the theme of Illusion and reality affect the life of ...

    She takes poison to end her life and she believes that she will die without any pain whereas in reality she falls suffers ill.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work