page 51 of 784 of In the First Circle

“Do you know how to make shoes?”

More than anyone so far in this novel, Simochka embodies the typical Soviet citizen. Since everyone is guaranteed work in Soviet Russia nobody is really doing anything worthwhile and even their schooling is pointless. She’s an audio engineer who can barely work a microphone. She was graduated through school because nobody was allowed to fail.

Everyone’s life here is wasted.