One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich: Summary

In the book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the main character Ivan and
the other prisoners in the camp are treated very badly. Ivan tries to make
himself warm and to get enough food to keep himself alive. He does only what is
necessary to please the guards and the commanders of the camp. Ivan uses his
intelligence to make his life easier so he can save up more energy to face the
work load. He and the members of the 104th group manage to survive because of
Ivan\'s personal attention to himself and his care about the others. More
importantly, Ivan survives because his intelligence, his spirit, his deception
and careful teamwork.

Ivan has to be smarter than the guards in the camp, so, he will not get into
trouble and get treated even worse than he does. When Shukhov and Senka want to
transport the hacksaw-blade that Ivan found back at the camp, Shukhov removes
both mittens, one with the blade. He then unbuttons his coat and let the guards
search him. They search him side and back and his pocket, and one guard also
crushes the mitten that Ivan holds out which is the empty one. This was in the
book as,

He was about to pass him through when,
for safety\'s sake, he crushed the mitten
that Shukhov held out to him - the empty one. (Solzhenitsyn, Pg. 107)

The smart move that he does is to place the empty mitten on top and take the
risk that the guard will only search the empty one. Shukhov was lucky. Another
example of having to be smarter is after they find the wood panels, they want to
carry them back to make the place where they work warmer. Shukhov knows that if
they carry it flatways, it will be easily noticed by others, so, they hold it
upright in between them and set off. If they are seen by the superintendent, for
instance, it will look as if there are three of them walking together. In this
way, they cheat the guards as well as the superintendent, because Ivan and the
others have use their intelligence.

Ivan mush has a strong spirit to survive in the camp, he uses his spirit to make
himself feel better in the camp, so, he can live happier and longer. He always
thinks about the future, which make an outcome for himself. Without an outcome a
person may become very sad and do not want to do anything, so he actually make
himself live longer. For example, "Freedom meant one thing to him - home"
(Solzhenitsyn, Pg.140). He is still thinking of home which he thinks that he
still have hope to get out of the camp. so he wants to save his own life and go
home in order to have freedom. Also, in his mind, work is not for money, but for
satisfaction. So, he does not think that work is boring and hard to do, he
thinks that they are chagelles.

Ivan is careful about what he does in the camp, therefore he does what is
appropriate to do in the camp. He does not take other person\'s left overs to eat
even when he is extremely hungry. This reduce the chances of getting disease so
he may live longer. When Ivan is sick, he goes to the sick bay and he does not
hang around very often there, unless he is feeling really ill. The man in charge
of there will not think that he is just pretending. Also, Shukhov has made his
own spoon to use, so he does not have to use hands to eat. This again can reduce
the chances of Ivan getting diseases. Therefore, Ivan can survive because of
what he does in the camp.

Ivan has to be deceptive in order not to be discovered by the guards and the
prisoners. When he sees a bit of a hacksaw blade on the ground, he thinks that
he has no immediate use for it, but he still keeps it and hides it in a cobbling
knife and perhaps trade it for bread. Furthermore, a good towel can make a man\'s
work better, Ivan therefore have fools the person in charge of the tool-store
and get the best trowel. He hides it so that he can work a lot easier with that
good trowel. This was in the book as, "Shukhov had fooled the man in the tool-
store and