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* SinisterSurveillance

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* SinisterSurveillanceSinisterSurveillance
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* JosefStalin: Heís one of the characters in the book, depicted here as hungry for world domination.


'''''The First Circle''''' is a 1968 novel by Creator/AleksandrSolzhenitsyn.

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'''''The ''The First Circle''''' Circle'' is a 1968 novel by Creator/AleksandrSolzhenitsyn.


Story of life in a sharashka in the late [[TheForties 1940s]]. A sharashka is [[TitleDrop the first circle]] of the Gulag hell. A prison for highly trained or educated prisoners who are more valuable working for the state in an intellectual capacity then as common labor. In exchange for their efforts the Zeks (prisoners) are given privileges and rewards. Do a good enough job and potentially they can earn their freedom and pardons directly from JosefStalin. Do a bad enough job, and go deeper into the system. They are not free, yet have a respite from the rest of the prison system. Can be considered the sequel to ''Literature/TheGulagArchipelago'' as in Creator/AleksandrSolzhenitsyn's life he left TheGulag to the sharashka due to lies he put on his informational card putting his profession as Nuclear Physicist.

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Story of life in a sharashka in the late [[TheForties 1940s]]. A sharashka is [[TitleDrop the first circle]] of the Gulag hell. A prison for highly trained or educated prisoners who are more valuable working for the state in an intellectual capacity then as common labor. In exchange for their efforts the Zeks (prisoners) are given privileges and rewards. Do a good enough job and potentially they can earn their freedom and pardons directly from JosefStalin.UsefulNotes/JosefStalin. Do a bad enough job, and go deeper into the system. They are not free, yet have a respite from the rest of the prison system. Can be considered the sequel to ''Literature/TheGulagArchipelago'' as in Creator/AleksandrSolzhenitsyn's life he left TheGulag to the sharashka due to lies he put on his informational card putting his profession as Nuclear Physicist.


* ShoutOut: [[DivineComedy The title of the book]]. Some of the chaptersí titles, too.

to:

* ShoutOut: [[DivineComedy [[Literature/TheDivineComedy The title of the book]]. Some of the chaptersí titles, too.


'''''The First Circle''''' is a 1968 novel by AleksandrSolzhenitsyn.

Story of life in a sharashka in the late [[TheForties 1940s]]. A sharashka is [[TitleDrop the first circle]] of the Gulag hell. A prison for highly trained or educated prisoners who are more valuable working for the state in an intellectual capacity then as common labor. In exchange for their efforts the Zeks (prisoners) are given privileges and rewards. Do a good enough job and potentially they can earn their freedom and pardons directly from JosefStalin. Do a bad enough job, and go deeper into the system. They are not free, yet have a respite from the rest of the prison system. Can be considered the sequel to TheGulagArchipelago as in AleksandrSolzhenitsyn's life he left TheGulag to the sharashka due to lies he put on his informational card putting his profession as Nuclear Physicist.

to:

'''''The First Circle''''' is a 1968 novel by AleksandrSolzhenitsyn.

Creator/AleksandrSolzhenitsyn.

Story of life in a sharashka in the late [[TheForties 1940s]]. A sharashka is [[TitleDrop the first circle]] of the Gulag hell. A prison for highly trained or educated prisoners who are more valuable working for the state in an intellectual capacity then as common labor. In exchange for their efforts the Zeks (prisoners) are given privileges and rewards. Do a good enough job and potentially they can earn their freedom and pardons directly from JosefStalin. Do a bad enough job, and go deeper into the system. They are not free, yet have a respite from the rest of the prison system. Can be considered the sequel to TheGulagArchipelago ''Literature/TheGulagArchipelago'' as in AleksandrSolzhenitsyn's Creator/AleksandrSolzhenitsyn's life he left TheGulag to the sharashka due to lies he put on his informational card putting his profession as Nuclear Physicist.


* TheManInTheIronMask: Mamurin, a former military officer and Party member kept in isolation from the others for reasons which are never really made clear. His identity is known to the reader but not to all the other prisoners.

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* TheManInTheIronMask: ManInTheIronMask: Mamurin, a former military officer and Party member kept in isolation from the others for reasons which are never really made clear. His identity is known to the reader but not to all the other prisoners.


* HappinessInSlavery / MyCountryRightOrWrong: Rubin defends Stalin and the Soviet regime passionately to the other, more disillusioned prisoners, and [[StupidGood is convinced he'll be exonerated]] and his incarceration will turn out to be an error eventually.

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* HappinessInSlavery / MyCountryRightOrWrong: HappinessInSlavery[=/=]MyCountryRightOrWrong: Rubin defends Stalin and the Soviet regime passionately to the other, more disillusioned prisoners, and [[StupidGood is convinced he'll be exonerated]] and his incarceration will turn out to be an error eventually.


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* LiteraryAllusionTitle: The title is a reference to ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'', specifically how the First Circle of Dante's Hell is actually Limbo--where the inhabitants are comfortable and free to philosophize, but also cannot leave and are perpetually separated from God.

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* EnsembleCast: There is no one main character.


The First Circle is a 1968 novel by AleksandrSolzhenitsyn.

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The '''''The First Circle Circle''''' is a 1968 novel by AleksandrSolzhenitsyn.

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* LuxuryPrisonSuite: The sharashkas. Justified because Stalin needs the support of atomic weapons researchers.

Added DiffLines:

The First Circle is a 1968 novel by AleksandrSolzhenitsyn.

Story of life in a sharashka in the late [[TheForties 1940s]]. A sharashka is [[TitleDrop the first circle]] of the Gulag hell. A prison for highly trained or educated prisoners who are more valuable working for the state in an intellectual capacity then as common labor. In exchange for their efforts the Zeks (prisoners) are given privileges and rewards. Do a good enough job and potentially they can earn their freedom and pardons directly from JosefStalin. Do a bad enough job, and go deeper into the system. They are not free, yet have a respite from the rest of the prison system. Can be considered the sequel to TheGulagArchipelago as in AleksandrSolzhenitsyn's life he left TheGulag to the sharashka due to lies he put on his informational card putting his profession as Nuclear Physicist.

LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, each with a different backstory, crime against the state and role in the camp. Crimes vary from being German to marking a ballot against Stalin, to [[WriteWhoYouKnow questioning political decisions in a letter]].

The sharashka's focus is on telecommunications technology, with the goal to produce a phone for Stalin himself that is both high quality and secure. The telecommunications experience means when an important phone call giving evidence of espionage is recorded the sharashka is tuned in to analyze the call. Much angst ensures as the morality of helping the state that imprisoned them imprison more is debated. The subject of the phone call differs between the original and lighter addition. In the first, which Solzhenitsyn believed could not be ever published in the Soviet Union, the phone call is a warning to the West of Soviet atomic weapon espionage. In the lighter version the call is related to medical supplies sought in the west.

!!The book provides examples of:

* TheApocalypseBringsOutTheBestInPeople
* CommieLand: No surprises here.
* CuriousQualmsOfConscience: Deciding whether you did the right thing while freezing to death.
* DoorStopper
* DramatisPersonae: Some versions, at least.
* FromBadToWorse: Almost all the zeks are aware that, no matter how bad their conditions are, they are still better there than in TheGulag. Of course, if they donít prove themselves worthy, they risk going to a gulag anytime.
* GildedCage
* TheGulag: Technically it is a sharashka, which was way better than the Gulags themselves, something that almost all the characters acknowledge.
* HappinessInSlavery / MyCountryRightOrWrong: Rubin defends Stalin and the Soviet regime passionately to the other, more disillusioned prisoners, and [[StupidGood is convinced he'll be exonerated]] and his incarceration will turn out to be an error eventually.
* HellholePrison: Well, it's a hellhole from our POV. According to them, it's not that bad, especially compared to the ''real'' gulag.
* HonorBeforeReason: Some zeks choose not to collaborate with the government, knowing very well that means being sent to a gulag (a real one).
* JosefStalin: Heís one of the characters in the book, depicted here as hungry for world domination.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters
* TheManInTheIronMask: Mamurin, a former military officer and Party member kept in isolation from the others for reasons which are never really made clear. His identity is known to the reader but not to all the other prisoners.
* OhCrap: Volodin, twice; first, when the phone call heís making gets intercepted and then, [[spoiler:when he finds out he has fallen into a trap.]]
* PeacefulInDeath: In a scene, a character freezes to death in a cell, and when they took him out, he was smiling. (The reader knows that he had come to the conclusion that he had done the right thing).
* ProperlyParanoid: After Innokentii Volodinís call gets intercepted, heís fearful that any day the SecretPolice will come for him. [[spoiler:Of course, he proves himself right in the end.]]
* ShoutOut: [[DivineComedy The title of the book]]. Some of the chaptersí titles, too.
* SinisterSurveillance

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