Deterioration of Dignity
In Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and Yukio Mishima’s The Sound of Waves, the respective societies of Shukhov and Shinji deteriorate their dignities leading to an elimination of self-character.
The elimination of self character caused by the deterioration of dignity is visible in both One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Sound of Waves. Firstly, Hiroshi’s family’s dignity is damaged when his friends accuse Shinji of committing a sin. While talking about Shinji’s actions, Sochan says “‘don’t you know, Hiroshi? I mean what your brother Shinji did to Miyata’s daughter Hatsue – I mean omeko – that’s what’”. (Mishima 101). Society causes the Kubo family’s reputation to deteriorate, leading to the damage of self-character of the family. Moving on, Shinji considers himself as poor, but regrets saying such a terrible thing. While talking on the boat, Shinji says “‘It’s all because I’m poor’, Shinji said. And he felt tears of shame springing in his eyes, not because he was poor, but because he had been weak enough to give voice to such a complaint”. (Mishima 113) Shinji worsens his dignity by speaking of degrading things leading to the deterioration of his self-character. His negative thoughts are influenced by the society’s views upon his poverty, leading to his degradation of his self-character. Similar to The Sound of Waves, Shukhov has the elimination of self-character due to the deterioration of dignity in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. To begin with, the prison system enforces terrible conditions to dehumanize the prisoners. Describing the prison system, the narrator states, “They’d long ago taken away these clothes and they said you’d get them back when your sentence was up”. (Solzhenitsyn 26). The prison system eliminates individuality by preventing freedom of clothing, leading to the deterioration of their dignity. This causes them to lose their character and...