The First Circle Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 6 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The First Circle.
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The First Circle Summary & Study Guide Description

The First Circle Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Related Titles on The First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Preview of The First Circle Summary:

The title suggests the major themes of the novel, deriving from the epic spiritual poem of the medieval Italian poet Dante, The Divine Comedy (c.1320), whose hero visits Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. Dante's hell is a tapering funnel of ten circles or levels. Its first circle, the abode of good pagans, lacks the fiery tortures of the other nine circles which entrap various kinds of sinners. Mavrino is the first circle of the hell of the labor camp system, inhabited by zeks leading relatively easy lives in exchange for being good prisoners and cooperating with the State.

The title also connotates the first circle of the Communist Party leadership, General Secretary Josef Stalin and his chief lieutenants. This circle is not as far removed from Hell as power and privileges suggest. One false step by a lieutenant — an unfulfilled assignment, a hint of ingratitude — sends him plunging...

This section contains 289 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The First Circle Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The First Circle from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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