Ivan Denisovich essay
In his 17th century pem, “To Althea from Prison”, Richard Lovelace tells us that “stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.” Thus Lovelace introduces and makes the reader familiar with the paradoxical nature of freedom. This paradox is raised again when comparing two legitimate visions of the modern world: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich vividly describes and allows the reader to live through life in a prison, where an individuals rights are stripped away, and Brave New World introduces the reader to a fantasy world filled with sex, drugs, and a total lack of inhibition and self-reserve. Although
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An example of Ivans ability to engage in rational thought occurs early in the story. Ivan is forced to clean the floors of the guard room, requiring him to get the floor wet and possibly get his valenki wet as well. Realizing the importance of his valenki in the cold weather he decides to take his valenki off and put rags in them while he cleans the floor, so that they will be dry in the future. By considering a way to keep himself warm later in the day, Ivan has really made the best out of a bad situation, thereby demonstrating an active mind and its will to live. Later in the novel when he eats his soup, Ivan notes that he is not taking soup from the top or the bottom, but perfectly balancing cabbage and broth, to enhance his soup eating experience. Once again, a seemingly minute and insignificant detail to the free man can be one of the few driving factors behind the life of a prisoner who discovers freedom in the ability to control and define small aspects of his existence. Therefore this story truly emphasizes the simple luxuries of having a mind. Even though Ivan does not have expensive possessions or beautiful women, he is able to enjoy his life by making the best of his surroundings, thereby making a physical hell one step closer to heaven.
Almost completely contrary to the hell depicted in One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is the hell depicted in Brave New World. A person in today’s modern world may not