Language and Literature HL DP 1
Do writers seek above all to use knowledge of their own society/backgrounds extensively? Base your answer on specific examples taken from the texts which you have read.Writers do use their knowledge of their own backgrounds and the extensiveness but it usually depends from the theme of the story. The first novel I read “One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich” the author Alexander Solzhenitsyn uses his cultural knowledge, past to express how the brutal and shattering single day in the Gulag (soviet labor camp) of Shukhov (protagonist) is spent. As for the second novel I read “memoirs of Geisha” by Arthur Golden, the novel’s setting takes place in a Geisha district in Kyoto, Japan and expresses a lot of the Japanese art, culture and heritage. Although Arthur Golden isn’t Japanese he was specialized and took a degree in Japanese art and history from Harvard University. Then he left New York for work in Japan, where he met a woman who was a Geisha and that became his inspiration to write the novel. That clearly isn’t knowledge from his own society or background but is a knowledge he earned from his interest and experience. In the novel “One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich” Alexander Solzhenitsyn decides to make the story set place in the 1950’s Gulag since he knew very well about the Gulag because he was sentenced to the Gulag himself due to criticizing the rigorous Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in private letter. He reveals all about the Stalinist repression and the hard labor camps in the novel. He clearly expresses how innocent people were sent to the gulag with silly reasons or for no reason at all like Shukhov, he was forced to go to the Gulag because he was accused by some soldiers that he may be a spy and receives 8 years in the Gulag. But in the book it will only talk about a single day of the 8 years, however it shows lack of camaraderie and coldness, and how much sufferings and obstacles Shukhov has to overcome to...
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