The First Circle Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

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1. Solzhenitsyn takes the novel's title from Canto IV of Dante's The Inferno, where the first circle is Limbo. Read the canto and describe Limbo physically and spiritually.

2. How does a sharashka differ from a penal labor camp like the one in Ivan Denisovichl 3. How is the sharashka an image of all Soviet society?

4. Each chapter possesses an intriguing title. Describe how a title creates anticipation for the narrative to follow.

5. The chapter at the middle of the novel is entitled "The Ark." Describe how it forms a pivot (or turning point) for the plot.

6. Chapters 18-21 present an extended portrait of Josef Stalin. How has Stalin made Russia into his own image and likeness?

7. The novel contains both fictional characters and historical personages.

What are the advantages and the disadvantages — or opportunities and limitations — of mixing them in a novel?

8. Gleb Nerzhin, a reflective man by...

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This section contains 244 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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