An Analysis Of The Point Of View Within The Novel, One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich In Alexander Solzhenitsyns, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, a novel based on a Russian labour prison camp during Stains rule, the point of view is a limited third person. Through the narration, we follow a prisoner named Ivan Denisovich Shukhov and experience a single day of his life in a special Russian prison camp. The purpose of the point of view is to provide details and to convey emotions to the reader. There are also advantages to the use of a limited third person which make the novel much more enjoyable.
Thus, the point of view acts as a window to the novel and controls what the reader experiences by providing a vivid picture of a Russian prison camp. Due to the reason that there are neither chapters nor major breaks within the novel, it leaves one to conclude that there is only one point of view, which is a limited third person. The lack of I and the use of he, it and they such as in, He had longed for the morning not to come, (p. 8) eliminates the first person and leaves one with the third person.
However the third person may be divided into two groups, omniscient and limited third person. The viewpoint of the novel always follows Shukhov around such as in the beginning, The clanging ceased, but everything outside still looked like the middle of the night when Ivan Denisovich Shukhov got up to go to the bucket, (p. 7). Never once does the novel delve into the mind or thoughts of others, only what Shukhov believes the others are thinking. Therefore the omniscient is eliminated. Thus the point of view for the novel is a limited third person.
The limited third person point of view acts as a window through which the reader views the events of the novel. It is a method of rendering o a means by which an author creates a narrative personality through which the reader receives the narration. It may simply be described as the perspective of a novel. By the use of a limited third person within the novel, Solzhenitsyn is able to provide both a detailed description of events and maintain emotional contact with the reader.
For example, With the snow creaking under their boots, the prisoners hurried away, each to his own business, some to the parcels office, some to hand in cereals to be cooked in the individual kitchens (p. 12). This is a detailed description, which easily provides the reader with mental picture of the situation. Details are an important factor because without them the reader would not know what is occurring within the novel. Emotional contact is also very vital in a novel. It helps capture the readers interest by making the reader more emotionally involved with the characters and the situations.
Such is the case when Shukhov is about to be frisked and had forgotten to hide the hacksaw blade he had brought back. The guard crushed it in his hand, and Shukhov felt as though pincers of iron were crushing everything inside him (p. 107). With this view into Shukhovs mind, an element of suspense is created and the reader becomes more emotionally involved fearing for what would occur. Thus the function of the limited third person is to provide the reader with details of situations to create a better mental image and convey emotions to make to novel more enjoyable. There are many advantages of writing in the limited third person.
Using this point of view the author may achieve an excellent median between the first and omniscient. It is flexible and provides a certain intensity, which contributes to the readers experience. In Solzhenitsyns novel the use of the limited third person provides an excellent method of allowing the reader to live the life of a prisoner within a Russian prison camp. Due to the reason that the reader is limited to only what Shukhov experiences, the reader therefore is strongly influenced by the opinions and attitudes of Shukhov. Such is the case when Shukhov refers to Fetiukov as that jackal. From that point on the reader tends to look upon Fetiukov with disgust or contempt.
Also when the Moldavian is missing at the count and is later found, the reader could feel the anger as Shukhov shouts, You rat! (p. 99). Thus by being limited to following Shukhov, the reader experiences what Shukhov experiences. Some omniscience is also needed, for without it one would not be able to gain a better understanding of the events occurring.
For instance, the discussion between Tse zar and X 123 about Eisenstein's, Ivan the Terrible. A man of Shukhovs education would not have followed the conversation at all, and would not have been able to repeat it. Therefore the reader needs a narrator to repeat the discussion. Also when describing Shukhovs actions, such as when he sprang nimbly down, Shukhov would not have described himself as such and therefore the reader knows it is an omniscient narrator describing the events.
Thus, in some cases, an omniscient narrator is also required to provide a better understanding of the events occurring and provide a more flexible and detailed look at the lives of prisoners. Therefore, the limited third person makes the reader become more involved emotionally and intellectually with the novel. Therefore the point of view of any literary work is very important. In Solzhenitsyns, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the point of view is a limited third person. It serves as a tool to convey thoughts and emotions, capturing the readers interest and imagination.
Using the third person, Solzhenitsyn is able to have both flexibility and intensity of emotion within his work. Therefore providing a literary work, which allows the reader to understand the events with great interest and emotional involvement. Thus without a point of view, no literary work would be complete, for it would neither posses a way to convey emotions nor would it contain cohesive thought.