Literary Techniques

The First Circle is narrated by an omniscient third-person narrator aware of each character's history, thoughts, and sensations. Like...

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Ideas for Group Discussions

1. Solzhenitsyn takes the novel's title from Canto IV of Dante's The Inferno, where the first circle is Limbo. Read the canto and...

(The entire section is 232 words.)

Social Concerns

Like One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1963), The First Circle takes place in a Siberian labor camp. This camp, Mavrino,...

(The entire section is 122 words.)


(Great Characters in Literature)

Ericson, Edward E., Jr. Solzhenitsyn: The Moral Vision, 1980.

Kodjak, Andrej. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 1978.

Krasnov, Vladislav. Solzhenitsyn and Dostoevsky: A Study in the Polyphonic Novel, 1980.

Lukacs, Georg. Solzhenitsyn, 1969.

Rothberg, Abraham. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1971.

Literary Precedents

The term "polyphonic" was first coined to describe Dostoevsky's novels, like The Brothers Karamazov (1880), which follow several...

(The entire section is 149 words.)

Related Titles

Candle in the Wind (1973) is also set in a research facility, although this one has an unspecified, international location. The...

(The entire section is 175 words.)


Polish director Aleksandr Ford made a film of The First Circle in 1972. Faithful to the book, the movie builds upon the conversations...

(The entire section is 96 words.)