Signs of Religion and Polite Manners
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
We get some signs of religion and polite manners, generally when people are eating. Signs of religion include prisoners who cross themselves before eating, like Pavlo, or who stop to say prayers periodically, like Alyoshka. Polite manners basically amount to removing a cap when eating, which is something that Shukhov and Tyurin are noted for doing. These little gestures tell us a lot about a character and about what sort of person they are. Through these gestures we can also see a contrast between the types of conscientious people that Pavlo and Shukhov are and the sort of person that Fetyukov the scrounger is.