Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

Next, he removed his cap from his shaven head - however cold it was, he wouldn't let himself eat with his cap on (85)

This detail about the cap crops up multiple times in the book and starts acting like a sort of character barometer, or measurement. Characters who remove their caps while eating have both self-respect and good survival skills. Pavlo, Tyurin, Shukhov, and Yu-81 all fit in this category.

Quote #2

Right then he seemed to yearn for that [cigarette] butt more than for freedom itself, but he wouldn't lower himself like Fetyukov, wouldn't look at Tsezar's mouth. (162)

Shukhov definitely has maintained some standards and pride in the camp, unlike Fetyukov, who seems to constantly debase himself. Shukhov's pride isn't often dangerous, though, unlike Buynovsky, who is far too stubborn.

Quote #3

Shukhov had been knocking around for forty years, he'd lost half his teeth and was going bald, but he'd never given or taken a bribe outside and hadn't picked up the habit in the camps. (232)

Again Shukhov's honorable nature is mentioned, but it's important to note that it's tied to his past. We get a hint here that Shukhov hasn't completely transformed as a person in the camps and that he was moral in the outside world as well. Shukhov has transformed physically, as the first sentence demonstrates, however the "but" in the sentence emphasizes how Shukhov has maintained his character.

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