Character Role Analysis
Shukhov's first foreman in his previous camp is only mentioned one time in the whole story, but in his brief mention we get the sense that he taught Shukhov a lot about how to survive in the gulag system. Kuzyomin also mentions some things that prisoners should not do if they want to survive, and his little list of things pops up again in the book, albeit indirectly. Kuzyomin said that prisoners who "lick bowls" probably won't last long, and we hear about Fetyukov doing just that at the very end of the novel. It's a sign of doom, and Kuzyomin called it.