LITERATURE: Ivan Denisovich – POV

While the story is told in third person pov, with the protagonist Ivan Denisovich a.k.a. Shukhov, there is what seems like narrator intrusion but which Solzhenitsyn uses as a tool to bring the reader into the cold world of Ivan’s prison camp:

In a corner near the door an orderly sat lazing on a stool.  Beyond him, like a bent pole, stooped Shkuropatenko–B 219.  That fathead–staring out of the window, trying to see, even now, whether anyone was pinching some of his precious prefabs!  You didn’t spot us that time, you snoop!  (p. 83)

It is delicately done and while we’ve been watching over the shoulder of Ivan the whole time, it makes us wonder who the narrator is and if indeed he cannot help but comment on what he sees and what he is revealing to us. 

There is a slowly building world of the camp that mirrors the outside world.  Human nature, despite environment, remains, adapts itself to any situation to allow human dignity.  And part of that dignity or nature, I suppose, is in a need in establishing a social strata that adjusts to circumstance.

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