"Coded" language enables prisoners to learn of the outside world. Ginzburg writes letters that encode the content of her message in order to escape from the prison censors. She relies on "Glan's language", a reference to a literary dog, not only in the letters she sends to her mother but also to write in the notebooks supplied by the prison. Writing in doublespeak allows Ginzburg to penetrate the isolation of prison and to discuss forbidden topics.
The freedom of expression and information granted by the coded language circumvents the general misinformation, propaganda, and censorship carried out by the terror. In chapter 36, Ginzburg admits that she uses Glan's language to poke fun at the official Soviet newspaper. The coded language is a means to preserve dissent and criticism in an environment that is hostile to it.