June 23, 2004

A Comparison of the Events of My Day and the "Day" in Question for the Title Character of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich"

Start of the Day:
Ivan Denisovich Shukhov: Wakes up in a Stalinist labor camp on a bitterly cold morning. Suffering from fever and aches and mistakenly thinking that a friendly guard is making the rounds, he stays in bed past the wake-up call, and is made to wash the floors of the officers? headquarters as punishment.

Ken Goldstein: Turns off radio alarm in his Jersey City apartment at first sound, ends up sleeping for another hour. There is no punishment for this action.
Ivan Denisovich Shukhov: After his punishment assignment, makes his way to the mess hall for a small bowl of gruel and slight amount of bread. Returns to his bunk to sew the bread into his mattress for later.

Ken Goldstein: Eats bowl of Peanut Butter Crunch while watching TV.
Working Hours
Ivan Denisovich Shukhov: Goes with the rest of his "Gang" to the Power Station for his work assignment. During his workday he risks serious punishment by using roofing material to try to keep the freezing wind outside, works feverishly to build a wall, and finds a bit of hacksaw which he will later attempt to sneak into camp in order to fashion it into a useful knife.

Ken Goldstein: Continues watching TV, eventually washing his bowl and spoon. He later takes a quick shower, gets dressed, and checks his mail and Job Search Agents on his computer. He also plays a golf game on his computer.
Dinner and Evening
Ivan Denisovich Shukhov: After miraculously managing to sneak his smuggled hacksaw bit through the inspection, he performs a few favors in order to cadge an extra bowl of gruel, which he enjoys along with his 400 grams of bread. There is a body count, and then a second, before the prisoners are allowed to sleep.

Ken Goldstein: Late in the afternoon goes outside through the lobby in order to check his mail, grabs the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, and heads over to Newark Avenue to enjoy a masala dosa. He returns to his building and drives to a mid-Jersey club, where he plays cards for a few hours. He gets a few nice hands and wins some money, though not as much as he should have. He drives back to Jersey City
Close of the Day
Ivan Denisovich Shukhov: After engaging in a philosophical discussion with a Baptist who urges him to have the faith to endure the camps, he thinks back on his day, deciding that it had been "unclouded" and "almost a happy one." The narrator remarks that it was one of the 3,653 days of his sentence.

Ken Goldstein: Checks the baseball scores as well as the Wimbledon schedule, which he learns was completely rained out. He brushes his teeth and sets the alarms, thinking that if he can wake up early enough tomorrow he might go to a museum or see a movie in New York. As he closes his eyes and prepares for sleep, he sadly thinks that this will probably not happen.
Thank you. This has been A Comparison of the Events of My Day and the "Day" in Question for the Title Character of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich"
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