CHARACTERS ô Смерть Ивана Ильича


Hailed as one of the world's supreme masterpieces on the subject of death and dying The Death of Ivan Ilyich is the story of a worldly careerist a high court judge who has never given the inevitability of his dying so much as a passing thought But one day death announ. “Death is over he said to himself There is no death”When I picked this book up at a library book sale I did so without expectation that I would actually enjoy reading it See I had mistakenly given up on the masters of Russian literature due to the struggles I had reading a particular novel I’m looking at you Brothers Karamazov assuming they were all inaccessible and there was no point in expending any energy trying to make sense of books with characters that go by 3 different names and waaaaaaah the endTHIS book Not at all inaccessible Masterful in its brevity Concise and relevant and beautifully written Pay close attention Blink and you’ll miss itI don’t have the words Tolstoy sets up the story expertly Ivan Ilyich is a decent man He has all of the trappings of a “successful life” respectable family respectable job respectable home He is by all intents and purposes content with his position in life But has he truly livedTolstoy describes Ivan Ilyich’s failing health in such a way that the reader can almost FEEL what it was like for him The gnawing ache in his side the pain unrelenting demoralizing every simple facet of existence plagued by torturous insufferable incurable pain It’s agonizing He cannot escape it And then there’s his wife She becomes like the walking breathing embodiment of this pain He can’t stand the sight of her the sound of her the smell of her We get the briefest of glimpses of what it must be like for a man on the brink of death He feels he is a burden; he believes everyone is just waiting for him to die He doesn’t want to have to rely on anyone to help alleviate his suffering He struggles with existence with god “why me why is this happening to me” But then in the end he finds what we all hope to find He finds peace He finds that this is not the end of life but the end of deathWell Leo I think you've found yourself a new fan

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Смерть Ивана ИльичаLife a nine year period following the publication of Anna Karenina during which he wrote not a word of fictionA thoroughly absorbing and at times terrifying glimpse into the abyss of death it is also a strong testament to the possibility of finding spiritual salvation. In Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych awareness of his impending death compels Ilych to think about whether his life had meaning He reviews his career family and the passions which guided his life all the decisions which led him to where he found himself Even as he knows death is closing in on him Ilych rejects the possibility that he will die and only slowly comes to accept his fate I remember reading this many years ago and it had stuck with me The story Ilych tells himself was fuller than I had remembered The topic and the structure of the narrative makes this memorable; however it is the meditative uality which Tolstoy brings to Ilych's last days which makes this story especially powerful

Leo Tolstoy Á 1 CHARACTERS

CHARACTERS ô Смерть Ивана Ильича ã Hailed as one of the world's supreme masterpieces on the subject of death and dying The Death of Ivan Ilyich is the story of a worldly careerist a high court judge who has never given the inevitability of his dying so much as a passing thought But one day death announces itself toCes itself to him and to his shocked surprise he is brought face to face with his own mortality How Tolstoy asks does an unreflective man confront his one and only moment of truthThis short novel was an artistic culmination of a profound spiritual crisis in Tolstoy's. About living a life worth dying for We want to imagine that dying means to fall asleep one day peacefully and without any pain looking back at a satisfied and happy life But what if the opposite is the case Portrait Leo Tolstoy Ivan Ilyich is an ordinary but very successful man with social status But then he injures himself and learns that his condition is terminal Confronted with his diagnosis Ivan tries to fight his worsening situation until the pain grows so intense that he is forced to stop working and spend the remaining days in bed dependent on others During the long and painful process of dying Ivan dwells on the idea that he doesn‘t deserve to suffer because he has lived his life in the right way which is why his pain and death must be senseless He begins to uestion whether he has in fact lived a good life and makes a clear split between an artificial life characterized by self interest and an authentic life marked by compassion and sympathy before he dies Ivan IlychIvan lives his life by the dictates of others Rather than relying on his own reason and good sense to direct his moral life he adopts the beliefs and values of the aristocratic society and those with high social standing He believes that if he imitates their lifestyle his own life will adapt and he will find meaning and fulfillment Ivan becomes obsessed with standards of the upper class and grows increasingly intolerant to everything that threatens his own comfort and materialism He reduces his personal relationships to shallow encounters and only finds pain isolation and dissatisfaction instead of meaning and fulfillment When he is confronted with the prospect of his death he is forced to confront his isolation which provokes serious existential reflections Ivan's illness reveals to him the true nature of life and he realizes that one has to live with compassion and loveThe Artificial Life Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy as young man The novel states that there are two types of lives; the artificial life and the authentic life The artificial life is marked by shallow relationships egoism and materialism and incapable of providing answers to the important uestions in life It is merely a deception that hides life's true meaning and leaves one terrified and alone at the moment of death The authentic life on the other hand is marked by pity and compassion It sees others as individual beings with uniue thoughts feelings and desires and cultivates valuable relationships that overcome isolation and allow true contact It creates bonds and prepares someone for the moment of deathSpiritualityTolstoy describes a conflict between the spiritual life and the physical life Initially Ivan has no spirituality and experiences excruciating pain deep unhappiness and absolute terror But when his coming death forces him to confront his isolation and grows toward understanding he replaces the physical with the spiritual and moves beyond his sufferingThe Inevitability of Death Leo Tolstoy‘s death in 1910When Ivan's attitude toward life and death changes his emotions progress from fright and terror to joy Ivan‘s social milieu is characterized by the avoidance of death that is based on a delusion designed to protect people from unpleasant realities Conseuently it leads to emptiness horror and dissatisfaction An acceptance of death on the other hand and the recognition of the unpredictability of life allows peace and even joy at the moment of death More than anything the novel can be seen as a lesson to make sense of death by living rightly “Morning or night Friday or Sunday made no difference everything was the same the gnawing excruciating incessant pain; that awareness of life irrevocably passing but not yet gone; that dreadful loathsome death the only reality relentlessly closing in on him; and that same endless lieA someone who came very close to dying this story touched me deep in my heart Tolstoy shows again his enormous emotional intelligence the weak spots of the human heart the primacy and elision of death and the conseuences of living without meaning