Dents Professor Goldman One day in the life of Ivan Tendencies One day in the life of Ivan Tendencies is a novel written by Alexander Solemnity recalling day events of Ivan Tendencies Chekhov in the Soviet labor camps in Russia in 1951. The novel explores many aspects of life in the Soviet labor camps such as living conditions, survival techniques, the psychological impacts on the prisons, as well as a rough overview of the Soviet regime under Stalin’s dictatorship.
Through these aspects we will gain knowledge of the daily routine through the eyes of an encampment prisoner. The labor camps in ass’s Russia under the leadership of Stalin were extreme due to the poor treatment imposed on the prisoners. Not only were the conditions poor but also the treatment they received from the prison guards was near intolerable. The prisoner’s quarters were small and cramped; they did not have sheets for their mattresses and the rooms were searched continuously. Mealtime was scarce for them as they were only allowed to eat 200 grams of bread per meal and often remained hungry.
The prisoners had no privacy and every move they made was seen by guards including bathroom breaks. The guards attacked the prisoners physically and forced body searches on them in freezing cold weather. ” When it was freezing, the frisking routine was not so tough in the morning… The prisoners undid their coats and held them open” (Solemnity’s, peg 36). The prisoners dealt with viciously cold weather, lack of comfort, and scarce food conditions as well as malicious abuse from the guards.
In such poor living conditions, prisoners must form ways in order to survive, each of them discovering their own. In the novel, the guards replace the names of the prisoners with a series of letters and numbers demoralizing them as people. Chekhov is referred to as “Shah-854” and in his realization of the prisons motives to strip prisoners of their knowledge and self worth, he comes up with ways in which he can fight the system. Instead of rebelling against the guards in which would ultimately lead to death, Chekhov finds ways in which silently attack the prisons motives.
Chekhov decides in order to survive his sentence he must not conform to the diversification but to remain civilized and keep his pride in tact. One way prove he was still a civilized human being. “Next, he removed his cap from his shaven dead?however cold it was, he wouldn’t let himself eat with his cap on?and stirred up his skills, quickly checking what had found its way into his bowl”(Solemnity’s, peg 16). This simple task also shows his attachment to etiquette and that the camp is not successful in demeaning him as a person.
Another big survival technique some prisoners used was to form bonds with other prisoners. Working in teams resulted in positive outcomes and became a survival necessity. Other prisoners resort to bribing and making nice with the officials, begging others for food, or simply keeping to themselves as Chekhov did. Survival techniques varied among the prisoners but everyone had their own way of coping with conditions forced upon them. As previously observed, the camp system is dominant over the individual’s sense of being.
The control of food rations, forced body searches and poor Justice enforcement are all primary factors of the inmate’s annalistic behavior. This situation can be observed through Footnotes behavior as he scrounges and begs for scraps of food, as an animal would. Effetely looses control of himself and in order to survive he begs for whatever he can receive. The lack of nutrients is not the only ajar impact on the prisoners though. Nature itself can be seen as an important influence on the inmate’s sense of worthlessness and extreme measures to survive.
Set in the Siberian peninsula, the weather conditions of the camp are viciously cold. The prisoners are not dressed properly, leaving them to look like poor beggars in rags and scraps of clothing. This lack of clothing would be humiliating to men who are used to wearing full outfits in whom are now wearing scraps. Another humiliating factor in the camps are the body searches in -40 degree weather, the weather alone being painful enough. The combination of harsh conditions of life and the humiliation and degradation caused by the guards affects the prisoners psychologically.
This type of psychological abuse would ultimately leave the prisoners feeling like lab rats, confined to terrible conditions yet relying on them to survive. In contrast to demeaning the inmates sense of individuality the camp has one positive effect on the prisoners. Everyone going through the same routine creates a sense of empathy and understanding amongst inmates and despite the harsh punishments, trust is formed. Part of the miracle of survival that Solemnity represents in the evolve is that a connection with fellow man can still persist even in subhuman conditions.
The camps affect the prisoners both physically and psychologically in order for the guards to gain domination over the prisoners. The novel not only gives insight on life as a prisoner but also on the way the soviet regime worked under Stalin. The camps were prison to soldiers who had contact with allies during the war. Later on, the regime started arresting men for unjust reasons, such as Chopstick who was encamped for giving milk to freedom fighters. The Stalin communism was bent on punishment no matter how little the act.
This could also be a foreshadowing of the De-stabilization period, seeing as they are trying to maintain their political and Juridical authority over the population. Solemnity depicts the soviet state as a distant place more powerful than nature. The soviets have little say superiority is absurd yet cannot be argued against. ” ‘But Since then, there’s been a law passed and now the sun’s highest at one Who passed the law? ‘The Soviet government” (Solemnity, peg 74). Buoyancy’s Joke that the soviet state has decreed the sun must be higher at one o’clock rather than noon underscores the regimes elisions.
The human rests on the fact that the government can change the truth whenever it wants. It images itself stronger than not only the Sun, but reality itself. One day in the life of Ivan Tendencies by Alexander Solemnity recalls day events of Ivan Tendencies Chekhov in the Soviet labor camps. Exploring living conditions, survival techniques, the psychological impacts on the prisons, as well as a rough overview of the Soviet regime under Stalin’s dictatorship, we gain knowledge of the daily routine of a prisoner of war through the eyes of an encampment prisoner.