One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

The Two Estonians Character Analysis

Described as being like brothers, the two Estonians are always considered as a single unit. These two men are not actually brothers, and in fact only met when they both were sent to the camp. They share everything, speak to one another in their native tongue, and even sleep beside one another. These men survive the brutal conditions of the camp by depending on one another, offering a contrast to the “Every man for himself” atmosphere of the Gulag, and showing an alternative means to survive. Likewise, their connection through their national background shows that although the camp is designed to strip one’s identity, bonds still form based upon past identifications.
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The Two Estonians Character Timeline in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

The timeline below shows where the character The Two Estonians appears in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 5 (The arrival at the work site to the beginning of work)
Identity, Principles, and Dignity Theme Icon
Competition vs. Camaraderie Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
...of the room as his fellow gang members and nibbles at his bread. The two Estonians sit beside him sharing a cigarette from the same holder. These two men are always... (full context)
Section 7 (The news of the murdered stoop pigeons to Tyurin’s story)
Identity, Principles, and Dignity Theme Icon
Competition vs. Camaraderie Theme Icon
...they are gone, and yells to Shukhov. Shukhov stealthily passes the bowls to the two Estonians in the squad who hide them. Shukhov tells the cook to count the bowls, and... (full context)
Section 8 (Tyurin’s story to the end of the work day)
Identity, Principles, and Dignity Theme Icon
Competition vs. Camaraderie Theme Icon
In the middle of Tyurin’s story, Shukhov asks one of the Estonians for a cigarette until the next day, promising he will repay him. The Estonian turns... (full context)
Section 12 (The purchase of the tobacco to Shukhov’s going to bed)
Identity, Principles, and Dignity Theme Icon
Competition vs. Camaraderie Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
...his knife to prepare their food, which entitles him to a cut. Shukhov repays the Estonians for the cigarette they’d given him earlier, but waits to roll another, knowing the count... (full context)