One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
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Man versus Society

Ivan represents the common man; the immediate society he lives in is prison. Every day he struggles to survive physically and psychologically. The prison supplies him with the bare necessities: food, shelter, and a job. His choices are few, but the one great choice is his: to live or to die. His choice to survive impacts the greater society: man can go on despite whatever cruelties society imposes.

Life versus Death

Ivan chose living with lies over dying for truth. In his case, was the truth worth dying for or was surviving the better choice? What is the value of life and the value of the life Ivan is living? When is death of more value?

The Individual versus the Unjust Law

In ancient Greece, Sophocles asked in his play Antigone, how does an individual deal with an unjust law? Should it be obeyed or flouted...

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This section contains 406 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Study Guide
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One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.