Monday, January 6, 2020

Life in The Death of Ivan Ilyich Essay - 1141 Words

Life in The Death of Ivan Ilyich In Leo Tolstoys The Death of Ivan Ilyich, the story begins with the death of the title character, Ivan Ilyich Golovin. Ivans closest friends discover his death in the obituary column in chapter one, but it is not until chapter two that we encounter our hero. Despite this opening, while Ilyich is physically alive during most of the storys action he only becomes spiritually alive a few moments before his death. The life of Ivan Ilyich, we are told, had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible (Tolstoy, Ch. 2). In analyzing this description of Ivans life, we see that Ivan has always done what is expected of him in the eyes of others (wife, co-workers,†¦show more content†¦I cannot understand how I bore it; you could hear him three rooms off (Tolstoy Ch. 2). The story contains significant existential elements in the sense that Ivan never considers his mortality until it is too late for him to lead a life more fulfilling. So, too, we see that all of the social proprieties that Ivan adhered to during his simple and ordinary life are socially constructed values and rituals that are typically a sham compared to reality. For example, Ivans friends care about getting ahead in their careers and the continuation of their bridge game more than they do about Ivans loss. This is because despite many people leading simple, ordinary lives in order to follow by rote every social propriety espoused by the status quo, these lives are largely lives of pretense and unfulfilling. Ivan recognizes this when he thinks, It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false (Tolstoy Ch. 11). Ivan comes to this recognition in part because he has struggled to get the wool from in front of his eyes and the culturally constructed valuations our of his psyche during his illness in order to find a meaning in life. In so doing, in chapter 5 he realizes his wife does not love him and hisShow MoreRelated Futility of Life in The Death of Ivan Ilyich Essay2748 Words   |  11 PagesFutility of Life in The Death of Ivan Ilyich      Ã‚   Count Leo Tolstoy is considered Russia’s greatest novelist and one of its most influential moral philosophers. As such, he is also one of the most complex individuals for historians of literature to deal with. His early work sought to replace romanticized glory with realistic views. A good example of this is the way he often portrayed battle as an unglamorous act performed by ordinary men. 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The main character Ivan Ilyich is dying from and unknown disease and while suffering finds himself reflecting on his life choices. Ivan consistently questions himself in the text, such as in his statement â€Å"What if my life has all been wrong?† (775)Read MoreDeath Of Ivan Ilyich Character Analysis703 Words   |  3 PagesLeo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a novella that depicts how the main character, Ivan Ilyich, undergoes the long process of dying. The novella depicts how Ivan Ilyich injures himself while decorating his house and how this apparently inconsequential injury, is actually a fatal one. When the story was first published in 1886, writing about death was common. For centuries, books had been written detailing the death s of main characters. What makes The Death of Ivan Ilyich unique, however, is

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