ADVANTAGES

It is not an easy world for Americans to comprehend. As Ivan muses: "How can you expect a man who's warm to understand a man who's cold?" It is a world in which to live through one more day is an achievement. When Shukov has gone through his day he falls asleep in a glow of contentment. It has been a lucky day. He has not been put into the punishment cells. He has not been sent to the open steppe to work in the 20-below zero wind. He's gotten an extra bowl of mush for supper. He's worked at building a wall and gotten pleasure from it. Heís gotten a hacksaw blade into camp without being caught. Heís bought some good tobacco. And he hasn't gotten sick. And the book closes:

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