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Awesome / The Gulag Archipelago

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  • Mixed with a Tear Jerker. Vlasov, Univer, Smirnov, and Saburov, bureaucrats of the tiny village of Kady, collectively get one of these when they slip around the rules to supply Kady with grain despite the forced requisitioning system that would otherwise starve the entire village, even as they are arrested one by one.
  • At their trial, instead of confessing to the charges even after Cold-Blooded Torture from the NKVD, Vlasov and the others poke the prosecution's arguments and accusations full of holes, and expose the trial for the sham it is in front of the entire village. They are nevertheless condemned to be shot, but they had succeeded in striking fear in the local police and NKVD. Most of them are executed, but Vlasov manages to survive death row and at one point spits in the face of the jailer who would probably have announced his execution, which Solzhenitsyn mentions probably saved his life (the jailers were not accustomed to resistance from the emaciated prisoners).

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