FREEWRITING POST 3:
Have you ever been a bystander of an argument? What do you notice? I notice that I am able to decide who’s side to be on because I get to know both of the arguers side of story. Keep that in mind. Throughout the novel “One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich”, Solzhenitsyn toyed with our heads by switching the narrator perspective repeatedly to view the storyline from different point-of-views. Keen switches between Third, Second, First person perspectives, it allowed me to better understand the story because by having knowledge of multiple perspectives of one thing, you can have a clearer image of the whole piece and know what is going on.
Third person point-of-view is probably the most common ways of telling a story in a novel, where the author uses “he” “she” “it” to describe characters, objects, and ideas. Although Solzhenitsyn used all 3 forms of perspectives repetitively, he was able to balance the usage and used them at appropriate scenarios in the book. For example, in the last part of the book, "Shukov nodded, and shot up to his bunk like a squirrel" (Solzhenitsyn 160). After another day in the prison, Shukov was ready to go to sleep. But remember, this “one day” was a very special day, where Shukov basically reorganised his thoughts on existentialism; this one day was his Renaissance period. Knowing this, I can understand why the author used a third person view for this scene because third person view not only has the power to give us a bigger picture, but also has the power to exaggerate the scenario because its not the character itself’s feelings, but the authors feelings and thoughts. This special day arouse many of his emotions towards life, and all the thinking tired him so much that he “shot up to his bunk”. The use of simile also helped the exaggeration which successfully let me get an perfect image of the scene in my mind.
When the narrator talks directly at the reader, that is a second person point-of-view. Solzhenitsyn used this technique often to question and ask for the readers opinions, using the terms “you” and “your”. Solzhenitsyn also made conspicuous transitions through third and second perspectives repeatedly, which usually is an sporadical thing to do, yet Solzhenitsyn pulls it off perfectly. “He had wished morning would never come. but the morning came as usual. Anyways, where would you get warm in a place like this…” (Solzhenitsyn 5) is a quote found in the early stage of the novel that uses the transition from third to second. Again, in this situation, the author asks us about our opinion on sheltering in a prison. Assuming that most students haven’t gone to jail (I hope), it is hard for us to give an exact answer for this rhetorical question. But the thing is, the author gives an immediate description of the cell right after the question, “with the windows iced over and the white cobwebs of frost all along the huge barracks where the walls joined the ceiling” (Solzhenitsyn 5). This helps the reader have an better image of the situation, and since the author asked “you” the question, you are forced to think exactly as the author described right after the rhetorical question.
To get to know the character’s inner feelings, first person perspective works the best in stories. First person point-of-views uses “me” “my” “I”, which basically means that the reader is put directly into the characters mind. This type of perspective works well especially for a story like “One Day In A Life Of Ivan Denisovich” because the story portrays the day of an lad who lives life as a prisoner. I think it is an interesting experience to be in the mind of an prisoner and understanding his emotions, therefore the first person perspective works well in this book. Shukhov was in regulation dress. Come on, paw me as hard as you like. There’s nothing but my soul in my chest” (Solzhenitsyn 34). This quote shows a immediate transition from a third person to a first person perspective. This transition is important because then the reader will be able to see the big picture first, then into the mind of the character. First person perspective also allows the reader and the character to “bond”. What I mean by this is that by being inside the characters shoes, you are able to relate with them, understand them, and get to know them better.
Solzhenitsyn improved his writing by incorporating the three different perspectives and used them repeatedly. Being able to see different perspectives helps you learn as a reader but also as an individual who can grow as an accepting thinker. Growing perspectives will allow you to see the big picture, and ultimately will allow you to make the right decisions. This book has taught me how knowing a different perspective of a character can change your whole thoughts about the characters. I hope that you, when you read “One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich”, will also help you understand the importance of point-of-views and help you make good choices in life.