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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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