Reaction Paper to One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
In the novel entitled, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Solzhenitsyn continuously refers to the pleasures of food and how the characters in the novel describe and treat it. Throughout the novel, the main character, Shukhov, emphasizes upon what food means to him. After reading these descriptions of food, I noticed that the prisoners in the prison camp treat food differently from the way I treat food.
When describing food, Shukhov describes it as a source of life. When Shukhov goes to the mess hall, one can notice how much appreciation he has for food. He thinks of it as warmth and life. He even mentions that food is more important than freedom. As a result of this appreciation, the prisoners tend to be very frugal with the food that they receive. In many cases, the prisoners would save and hide it in secret pockets for future use.
Contrastingly, I do not appreciate food as much as the prisoners in the camp. The prisoners receive a limited amount of food, while for me, it is always reachable. Because food is never out of reach, I do not see it the same way prisoners, like Shukhov, do. I tend to be less frugal with food and see food as disposable. It is never hard for me to get more food if I am hungry. However, Shukhov only receives food three times a day and can only eat otherwise if he has saved food. Furthermore, to me, food is enjoyable. The prisoners in the camp do not mind eating gruel and bread everyday and they seem to never complain because they do not have any other options. Dissimilarly, I have many options and choices when it comes to food and I even complain when food does not taste acceptable. After analyzing the ways in which the prisoners and I treat food, I realized that I should appreciate food to a certain extent. I am lucky to have food that is always reachable, and I am also lucky to have options.