Kolyma Tales Topics for Discussion

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Brutality can be the steady demands of the authorities for work in the freezing cold. More subtlety, brutality can be forcing prisoners to lie, cheat and inform on fellow prisoners to survive. Discuss different methods and degrees of brutality.

Discuss hope. Hope can be fanned by any improvement of a day, or a long-term improvement. Does hope spring up eternally for the prisoners of Kolyma?

Desperation can take many forms. In "Major Pugachov's Last Battle," Pugachov leads an escaping group that is willing to die trying, even if they only escape for an hour. Other prisoners desperately fake diseases and broken backs, in order to escape work. Discuss desperation.

Discuss hypocrisy and the Soviet system. The Kolyma camps under the Soviet system work prisoners to death. Yet, the Soviet authorities insist that they are stopping lazy people from being loafers. What is the purpose of maintaining this...

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This section contains 357 words
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