- Why does Solzhenitsyn call the protagonist by the name “Ivan Denisovich” in the title but by the name “Shukhov” almost everywhere else in the narrative?
- In what ways does the camp attempt to eliminate individual identity?
- In what ways do the inmates attempt to hold on to their individual identities?
- Why did the author choose to write a work of fiction in order to share his Gulag experience with an audience? Why not nonfiction?
- Why does Solzhenitsyn describe only a single day of Shukhov’s life?
- Why does the author show a day in which the main character feels slightly less miserable than others?
- The narrator asks, “Can a man who’s warm understand one who is freezing?” What are the larger implications of such a question as it applies to our lives? What are some of the possible answers to this question? How do you respond to this question?
Content last updated: April 30, 2006