One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

How is work like a stick?

What is the difference between the two ends and how does it apply to Shukhov's situation?

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Ivan is not a floor washer. He's a bricklayer, "a job to take pride in." He's as close to a perfectionist as he can be, given the materials and the conditions at hand. He works with purpose and professionalism. He works hard because that is how he sees his world and himself most clearly: "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." The two ends of the stick is a metaphor to the kind of job you do depending on who you do it for. Still Ivan always makes sure his work is decent.