Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich
One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich
Uniform Title:
Odin denʹ Ivana Denisovicha. English

Publication Information:
New York : Knopf, 1995.
Physical Description:
xxvii, 159 pages ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
no. 219.
General Note:
Translation of: Odin denʹ Ivana Denisovicha.
Context -- Plot Overview -- Character List -- Analysis of Major Characters -- Ivan Denisovich Shukhov -- Tyurin -- Tsezar -- Fetyukov -- Alyoshka -- Themes, Motifs & Symbols -- Struggle for Human Dignity -- Outrage of Unjust Punishment -- Importance of Faith -- Lack of Privacy -- Cold -- Camaraderie -- Shukhov's Spoon -- Bread -- Tsezar's Parcel -- Important Quotations Explained -- Study Questions & Essay Topics.
In the madness of World War II, a dutiful Russian soldier is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to ten years in a Siberian labor camp. So begins this masterpiece of modern Russian fiction, a harrowing account of a man who has conceded to all things evil with dignity and strength.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR 8.0 5.5 12791.

Reading Counts RC 9-12 9.0 10.0 8652.


Call Number
Solzhenitsyn, A.

On Order



One of the most chilling novels about the oppression of totalitarian regimes and the first to open Western eyes to the terrors of Stalin's prison camps; if Solzhenitsyn later became Russia's conscience in exile, this is the book with which he first challenged the brutal might of the Soviet Union.

Author Notes

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born on December 11, 1918 in Kislovodsk in the northern Caucusus Mountains. He received a degree in physics and math from Rostov University in 1941. He served in the Russian army during World War II but was arrested in 1945 for writing a letter criticizing Stalin. He spent the next decade in prisons and labor camps and, later, exile, before being allowed to return to central Russia, where he worked as a high school science teacher.

His first novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, was published in 1962. In 1970, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1974, he was arrested for treason and exiled following the publication of The Gulag Archipelago. He moved to Switzerland and later the U. S. where he continued to write fiction and history. When the Soviet Union collapsed, he returned to his homeland. His other works include The First Circle and The Cancer Ward. He died due to a heart ailment on August 3, 2008 at the age of 89.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Solzhenitsyn's novel describes a day in a Stalinist forced labor camp in Siberia in 1951, where Ivan's rituals and ploys help preserve his life and sanity.

Table of Contents

Contextp. 1
Plot Overviewp. 3
Character Listp. 7
Analysis of Major Charactersp. 11
Ivan Denisovich Shukhovp. 11
Tyurinp. 12
Tsezarp. 12
Fetyukovp. 13
Alyoshkap. 13
Themes, Motifs & Symbolsp. 15
The Struggle for Human Dignityp. 15
The Outrage of Unjust Punishmentp. 15
The Importance of Faithp. 16
The Lack of Privacyp. 17
The Coldp. 17
Camaraderiep. 18
Shukhov's Spoonp. 18
Breadp. 19
Tsezar's Parcelp. 19
Summary & Analysisp. 21
Section 1

p. 21

Section 2

p. 23

Section 3

p. 26

Section 4

p. 27

Section 5

p. 30

Section 6

p. 32

Section 7

p. 35

Section 8

p. 38

Section 9

p. 40

Section 10

p. 43

Important Quotations Explainedp. 47
Key Factsp. 53
Study Questions & Essay Topicsp. 57
Study Questionsp. 57
Suggested Essay Topicsp. 60
Review & Resourcesp. 61
Quizp. 61
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 66