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Death of Ivan Ilyich Assignment

Death of Ivan Ilyich Assignment - TOLSTOYS THE DEATH OF...

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TOLSTOY’S THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH PHL366 | SECTION: 101 | LAITON PARNSALU In this book The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Tolstoy tells the story of the life and death of Ivan Ilyich. Living what seems to be a normal and good life, Ivan Ilyich bumps his side while he is putting up curtains in a new apartment. This small incident seems to progresses into a more severe issue where Ivan is on the verge of dying and this is when he realizes that his life was not “the real thing.” According to Ivan Ilyich, his entire conscious life was not “the real thing” because he was despised and unsatisfied with his life and didn’t live his life ‘comme il faut’, -properly or as he should have. “What if my entire life, my entire conscious, simply was not the real thing?”(Tolstoy 108). The following paper will demonstrate what “the real thing” is in depth according to Ivan’s Ilyich’s perspective as he is brought face-to-face with his own mortality. Ivan Ilyich has realized he has wasted his life, and cannot do anything to prevent it because he discovers that he is ill and dying. Gerasim is a good representation of what Ivan had thought to be the “real thing.” Gerasim seems to accept the fact that Ivan is ill and is dying, other than the doctors who seem lie to him about his situation between life and death. Gerasim takes care of Ivan because one day when Gerasim becomes sick, he wants someone to do the same for him. Gerasim is not concerned about his social status, is content with who he is and also does not pretend to be someone he’s not. These are all the characteristics Ivan finds to be “the real thing.” Gerasim helps Ivan see the truth of death which allows Ivan to finally confront and
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accept the truth. Ivan realizes that he wasn’t being his true self for his entire life. When Ivan is minutes away from confronting death, he looks at his wife and indicates his son with a glance and says “Take him away . . . sorry for him . . .and you.”(Tolstoy 112) Ivan
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