Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The novel Cancer Ward, written by Aleksandr Solzenitsyn, was first published in the Soviet Union in 1967. It was then banned in the Soviet Union a year later in 1968. In the novel, a sense of responsibility is imparted towards those who took part in Stalin's Great Purge; symbolized through the cancerous tumors developed within a group of hospital patients during the post-Stalinist Soviet Union. As these patients undergo treatment for their malignant tumors, Solzhenitsyn develops themes of hope, optimism, pessimism, political ideologies, and mortality through their experiences and interactions with each other. Solzhenitsyn claims that the novel is intended to be semi-autobiographical, with the story line resembling some of his own experiences in the Soviet Union-- from which he was expelled in 1974.

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