What different forms of resistance to incarceration are presented in `One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich and `If this is a man?

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World Literature Essay, Draft 1.        Victoria J Billington. D1RT.


What different forms of resistance to incarceration are presented in `One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich´ and `If this is a man´?

´One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich` and ´If this is a man` are based upon the imprisonment and punishment of two individuals that represent the millions of people. Some suffered in the prisons of Russia during Josef Stalin’s reign from 1924 until his death in 1953 and others in Hitler’s death camps from. From criminals to protesters to people with different beliefs, almost everyone considered against the rulers of said country were thrown into Death Camps and prisons simply for expressing thoughts that weren’t completely what the leaders of those countries wanted to hear. Freedom of speech was something that didn't exist in the 1930s and freedom to live was lacking as well.

In `One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich´ there are many men in that resist everything in their own way, from authority, to the lack of the value of money, to religious limitations. It is difficult to explain all the different factors which play a part resistance. Physical, mental, emotional, a simple thought can be considered resistance if it is the right sort. Most of those imaginable are found in these two novels.

Shukhov frequently resists mental control as we read his simple, yet effective thoughts. For example: ´Come on, paw me as hard as you like. There’s nothing but my soul in my chest.´ (page 32) shows that, although they have robbed him of all possessions that could maintain his humanity, there is the one thing can never steal: His soul. He maintains this theory throughout the novel by arguing in subtle ways and creating the illusion that he does what they want without question. "There was truth in that. Better to growl and submit. If you were stubborn they broke you." (Page 41) They’re resistance was hidden, they did mostly as they were told, but not because they were accustomed to it, but because if they did otherwise they knew the consequences.

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Shukhov’s squad leader, Andrei Prokofievich Tiurin faces a lot of problems whilst in the cam because if he makes one false move the entire squad pays for it. This is one of the main reasons why Shukhov and the rest of the squad respect him so much, he is more like a father figure to them. "A guard can't get people to budge even in working hours, but a squad leader can tell his men to get on with the job even during the break, and they'll do it. Because he's the one who feeds them. And he'd never make ...

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