Ivan Denisovich is a prisoner in a Siberian labor camp where he's been sentenced to 10 long years. Sick one morning, he oversleeps and is punished for it with latrine duty. When he reports his illness to the infirmary, he's told no more prisoners can be exempted from work and is sent to do construction work in the brutal cold. As the day wears on, Ivan rejoices that his illness has passed, does a favor for a scrap of food and tries to maintain what he can of his humanity.
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