45+ Best Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was the 1970 Noble Prize winner for literature.
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A commander in the Soviet Army, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's most compelling writings are inspired by his experiences during World War II.

Although he was awarded multiple times for heroism during his service, he was later sentenced to a labor camp for his controversial statements against Stalin. This is where the inspiration for his book 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich' comes from.

This gut-wrenching story of a labor camp inmate expressed through the powerful words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn helped the world recognize the artistry in his literature. The book became the source of the truth about how the Soviet gulag operated. Later he went on to write multiple engaging books on the various wakes of human life, selling millions of copies around the world. The 'Alexander Solzhenitsyn Speech' in the Harvard Commencement is considered to be one of the most thought-provoking addresses.  Let's take a look at some of his quotes that have inspired millions around the world. If you enjoy these, do have a look at our Alfred Adler quotes and Aldo Leopold quotes.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes From 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'

These quotes by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn are sure to make you think twice about your idea of the world. Which of these Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes is your favorite?

1. "Can a man who's warm understand one who's freezing?"

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

2. "Beat a dog once and you only have to show him the whip."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

3. "Pay short money and get short value."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

4. "A man who’s in a hurry won’t live to see the end of his stretch – he'll tire and soon be done for."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

5. "The belly is a demon. It doesn’t remember how well you treated it yesterday; it'll cry out for more tomorrow."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

6. "Work, he said, was a first-rate medicine for any illness."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

7. "Art isn't a matter of 'what' but of 'how'."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

8. "A genius doesn't adjust his treatment of a theme to a tyrant's taste."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

9. "There are two ends to a stick, and there’s more than one way of working. If it's for human beings –make sure and do it properly. If it's for the big man – just make it look good."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

10. "For all that he may be unable to read or write, a herdsman knows if there's a calf missing when he’s driving the herd."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

Famous Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes From 'The Gulag Archipelago'

A prison camp inmate became Aleksandr's inspiration for his book 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 'Gulag Archipelago' quotes are known to be some of his most inspiring works.

11. "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

12. "We always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

13. "Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words... By means of art, we are sometimes sent – dimly, briefly – revelations unattainable by reason."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

14. "If… if… We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation… We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

15. "Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

16. "If you live in a graveyard, you can't weep for everyone."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

17. "Don't ever be the first to stop applauding!"

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

18. "Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

19. "It's a universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

20. "Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

Quotes From Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn To Better Understand A Human Being

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes on the instincts of the human heart will always get you to reflect on your own actions.

21. "If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?"

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'In The First Circle'.

22. "The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

23. "A man is happy, so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'Cancer Ward'.

24. "When you're cold, don't expect sympathy from someone who's warm."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

25. "To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what he's doing is good."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

26. "Our envy of others devours us most of all."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

27. "Mistakes are great educators when one is honest enough to admit them and willing to learn from them."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

28. "If we don’t know our own history, then we simply will have to endure all of the same mistakes, all of the same sacrifices, all of the same absurdities over again – ten times."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

29. "Any man who has once acclaimed violence as his method must inexorably choose falsehood as his principle."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

30. "Everyone is guilty of something or has something to conceal. All one has to do is look hard enough to find what it is."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes To Better Ourselves

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn made a powerful speech at the Harvard Commencement.

These Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes will encourage you to work on yourself.

31. "We are so attached to the earth, and yet we are incapable of holding onto it."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

32. "Someone that you have deprived of everything is no longer in your power. He is once again entirely free."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

33. "Every man always has handy a dozen glib little reasons why he is right not to sacrifice himself."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

34. "The meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but in the development of the soul."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'Cancer Ward'.

35. "Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but a conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

36. "Even the most rational approach to ethics is defenseless if there isn't the will to do what is right."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

37. "Like a bicycle, like a wheel that, once rolling, is stable only so long as it keeps moving but falls when its momentum stops, so the game between a man and woman, once begun, can exist only so long as it progresses. If the forward movement today is no more than it was yesterday, the game is over."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'Cancer Ward'.

38. "It was wrong to be too pragmatic, to judge people solely by results; it was more humane to judge by intentions."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'Cancer Ward'.

39. "Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart – and through all human hearts."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

40. "We are all human, and our senses are quicker to prompt us than our reason. Every man gives off a scent, and that scent tells you how to act before your head does."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes That Describe His Views

Aleksandr always had an interesting way to perceive nature and the people around him and these are well illustrated in many Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes. Let's take a look at his descriptions of the same through some of these powerful Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes.

41. "A leader should not be a man who arbitrarily imported his own ideas but the essential focal point for a group of people who trusted one another and worked for a common aim."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

42. "Even the most broad-minded of us can embrace only that part of the truth into which our own snout has blundered."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'The Gulag Archipelago'.

43. "The great truth for Innokenty used to be that we are given only one life. Now, with the new feeling that had ripened in him, he became aware of another law: that we are given only one conscience, too."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'In The First Circle'.

44. "The human race broke away from the animal world through thought and speech. It is natural that these should be free. And if they are shackled—we return to our animal state."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

45. "Patriotism is an integral and persistent feeling of love for one’s homeland, with a willingness to make sacrifices for her, to share her troubles, but not to serve her unquestioningly, not to support her unjust claims, rather, to frankly assess her faults, her transgressions, and to repent for these."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

46. "Why can't you understand? The stars fall down now and then. The gaps have to be filled."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

47. "There is eternal simplicity to a solution once it has been discovered!"

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

48. "If so far we have been unable to see clearly or reflect the eternal lineaments of truth, is it not because we too are still moving towards some end — because we are still alive?"

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'Dimensions In Learning English IV'.

49. "After all, man is a complicated being, why should he be explainable by logic?"

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'Cancer Ward'.

50. "Yes, you live with your feet in the mud and there's no time to be thinking about how you got in or how you're going to get out."

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully curated lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 45+ best Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quotes, then why not take a look at our Alexander Pope quotes or Alfred, Lord Tennyson quotes?

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