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One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich


by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


Character Role Analysis

Alyoshka and Fetyukov

These two characters occupy opposite ends of the prisoner spectrum, with Shukhov existing nicely in the middle. At one pole, we have Alyoshka, the pious and meek Baptist who does nothing for himself. He even seems oddly glad to be in prison since it strengthens his faith in God. At the other pole, we have Fetyukov, the scrounger, who always tries to get something for nothing and who has no qualms about doing anything for himself. Shukhov, who is both savvy and has a sense of honor, blends the best of both of these characters and thus has a much higher chance of survival.