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The First Circle Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

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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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...

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This section contains 244 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The First Circle Short Guide
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