Essay on The Death of Ivan Illyich

Submitted By arie43
Words: 664
Pages: 3

The Death of Ivan IlyichThe Death of Ivan Ilyich written by Leo Tolstoy is a novel that follows an ethical man to his last day on earth. Being that we, the readers, attend the funeral in the very first chapter, it is accepted that the Ivan Ilyich we are introduced to in chapter two will unquestionably die before the end of the novel. This recognized forthcoming allows us to bypass wondering about his future, and target his reception of it. Throughout the novel we watch as Ivan continuously climbs the social ladder accomplishing what he believes is significant. When Ivan becomes awfully sick however, everything he has been confident about in his life collapses. He learns with anguish that those around him are not distressed by his condition and as death inches closer he starts to doubt the gravity of his life thus far.
This novel can be connected to the main idea of the course for the reason that it deals whole-heartedly with the concept of identity and self-knowing, as well as how factors such as social class and culture can have such strong effects. Ivan believes he is content with his life until he slowly learns to be more socially aware and comes to the realization that he did not live a real life with essence, but more of an existence or an appearance to the universe. A clear example is how Ivan breathed to measure up to and please those who were in power. Yet when he became ill not one of those he admired so greatly came to visit him or to wish him well. In fact even when he died they were concerned only with what effect it would have on their daily lives. Ivan never did anything to displease them, how could they be so guileless? The answer is that the standing he held previously meant nothing so long as the relationships he had with them were weak and meaningless.
It is clear that Tolstoy aimed to leave his readers thinking about the parallels between the way they live their own lives and the way the title character did. Ivan’s ambition was to live with high social standard, which would be a fine if he did not ignore his moral standing to get there. Tolstoy knows that it is easy to be tricked into thinking your standing in the workplace, the amount of money you have, or even the position of your drapes are important. He warns us, do not be fooled by the superficial voice inside of your head. When it comes down to it, everyone will face a dark place sometime in their lives, and your perfectly positioned drapes…