Jordan Skinner Give a 500 word assessment of the varying ways that Bulgakov and Solzhenitsyn each try

to subvert totalitarianism and the 'principalities and powers' of Soviet Russia. After explicating the contrasting modes a bit, maybe say which you preferred and why.

Both Bulgakov and Solzhenitsyn are writers that have lived in the Soviet Union and became major critics of its régime. As intellectuals during the rise of the Soviet totalitarianism, both of these men witnessed opposition and oppression from a government that favored uniformality and commitment to the progression of the soviet state. By using their experience and skillful style, these two men were able to publish beautiful critiques that allowed the world new insight behind the Iron Curtain. Their projects were not an outright critique of the soviet nation, but were instead a satirical description of a society overcome by rationalism, pragmatism, and progress, giving therefore a fuller critique of society as a whole. Bulgakov carries with him the insight of having seen both sides of the revolution and therefore has an outsiders perspective. His major work, Master and Margarita, includes a number of characters, none of which seem to be the central figure in which the story revolves around, yet are all mysteriously used to portray his narrative. The Master s cautious production of his novel provides the reader the insight into the lifestyle of a soviet confined intellectual facing the restrictive totalitarianism. Through Bulgakov s description of the censorship that the Master faces, he shows the very grim reality of the life of a man longing to produce a work of art. By way of his bizarre narrative he reveals the absurdity of the Stalinist regulations and restrictions on the

It is almost a simple task to explain how a book explaining the dehumanizing lifestyle of a prisoner would be defiant of the Soviet state.work and ideas of a writer. The state understood anyone discouraging to the progress of this state to be an enemy. like the description given Bulgokov are something that can t be burned or vanquished by the State. Solzhenitsyn uses a narrative that is familiar to his own experiences. This . Like Bulgakov. In this case number Shch-854 reveals his particularity through his very meticulous planning and the psychoanalytical perspective that the reader has on this character. it is not the writing itself. This gives the reader the insight from the mind of one man and his experiences as he lives his life. These ideas. but it was a man who had ideas and insight. In his crowning moment of defiance. Solzhenitsyn precedes to write A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich about one man s experience of a day in a Gulag. Bulgakov expresses the true humanity behind the writer. The writer with the ideas is the most threatening to the state. The way that I find Solzhenitsyn to be truly rebellious is in his use of subjective narrative. After having been a prisoner in a Gulag himself. Solzhenitsyn published his book revealing the terrors of a prison camp and explains the flaws intrinsic in a system build on repressing the voices of the people. As the narrative begins to unfold. With this fear in mind. This is a defiance of the Gulag s uniformity by revealing that prisoners are more than the anti-human number given to them. but I find that the very way that the author reveals this narrative is a defiant move. His defining moment for this defiance came from his proclamation "manuscripts don't burn" revealing both the rebelliousness of the character and Bulgakov s real life rebellion. the reader is given an opportunity to understand not only that this character was a man.

incessant move to rebel against the unifomality is where both of these great writers come together to show a full bodied critique. .

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