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death of Ivan Ilynch
“ The Death of Ivan Ilych “
“The Death of Ivan Ilych “ tells the story of a man on his deathbed realizing that the majority of the things he’s done throughout his life was for social acceptance. Concerned only with the thoughts of other people, his own ideas and thoughts were dismissed from importance when it came to self-image. On his deathbed he realizes that “In public opinion I was moving uphill, but to the same extent life was slipping away from me. And now it’s gone and all I can do is die”.
Ivan found money and work to be the root of all happiness. One of the reasons why Ivan values work and money so much is because these to aspects were escapes from his artificial married life he was leading. For once in his life Ivan had a chance to escape all the worries involved with his work life and go to the country to live with his brother-in law, immediately after getting there Ivan felt bored and decided to go to Petersburg to “punish those people who had failed to appreciate him” by trying to get transferred to another ministry with larger pay. In this move he felt that his colleagues owed him something for all those years of so called friendships. Despite them he and his family he does find a new job paying 5000 rubles. As soon as his wife finds out their married life becomes the best it’s ever been since the first year. This is the perfect example of how they found happiness in money.
While on his deathbed Ivan only wants to be pitied by people and the only one that pities him from the beginning is Gerasim. Ivan has a whole new respect for Gerasim when at the beginning of his death Gerasim says “We all have to die someday so why shouldn’t I help you”(104). It is these words that started Ivan’s abstract thinking of life’s real meanings and treasures. Ivan knew that Gerasim was helping him because he would want the same for himself when it came time for him to die. This was good to hear from someone especially because his wife’s attitude towards his illness was careless of him but more concerned with the money situation she was going to experience when he was gone. This was obvious when she asked Pytor for extra pension upon his death. She treated his death like she treated Ivan with everything else, just another burden.
Though the physical pain Ivan was going through was “dreadful” “But even more dreadful was his moral agony, and it was this that tormented him most”(126). He felt everyone was lying to him and to themselves to the fact that he was dying. He started to believe that his whole life was fake and would ask himself, “What if my entire life, my entire conscious life, simply was not the real thing?”(126). Ivan would regret everything he had done in his life because everything he had done was fake as he finally realized. His marriage, his work was all for show.
All he wanted was to be pitied and in the end he received compassion from his family especially his son. The last thing Ivan said to himself before he died was “Death is over, there is no more death “ (134). In this he meant that his life was death from the second the innocence of his childhood left him and now his physical death is the beginning of a new innocent life no matter where it takes him.
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Genealogy, Royalty, Rurik Dynasty, Rurikids, Monarchy, Philosophical literature, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich of Russia, Ivan, War
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