The Death of Ivan Ilych Module title: Module ID: Submission date: The Paper Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilych (1886) reflects the struggle humans made in their life, particularly during their educational and professional years, which drives them far away from their family members and friends subsequently in such a quiet and noiseless manner that they are unaware of the fast growth of cold feelings and strangeness between them and their closest relations…
People not only ignore family and friends at the climax of their career life, but also they appear to be ignorant of the bitter truth that they would have to leave this world one day at any cost. Hence, they seldom discuss the topic in their everyday life, and take it as a matter of least concern for their life. It is therefore Byock (2002) is justified in stating that discussing the meaning of death looks disrespectful and distasteful. The same is applied to Ivan Ilych, the protagonist of the novel under-examination, who first time felt the absence of the family and distances from his wife and children after slipping from stairs, and falling ill, gradually proceeding to his ultimate end eventually. The novel begins with the death news of Ilych, few hours before, and his friends and colleagues appear to be discussing the event with astonishment. Somehow, they take it serious just for the next few moments, and start discussing other matters taking his exit from the world as a routine incident of least interest. The novel proceeds and takes the readers to the early years of Ilych’s life, demonstrating him as a brilliant student and an adventurous youth as well (Tolstoy, 13). The young man embarks upon his career in the law profession, and rises to the position of judge during his latter years. He turns such absorbed and dedicated in his career life that he does not estimate his relationship with his family members. Now, after undergoing an injury in the wake of an accident, he appears to be lying in bed, and making struggle to survive between life and death. At first, Ilych takes it as a trivial injury, though it gradually damages his left side, and confines him to bed. Leading a life of loneliness as a retired and recluse person turns out to be very irritating for him in the beginning. The indifference demonstrated by his wife and children towards him is also painful and humiliating for him. Somehow, gradually he realizes that it is not a matter of ailment and convalescence; rather, it is a struggle between life and death, where death is sure to overcome life one day or the other. Ilych experiences severe physical pains at the verge of death, and starts cursing the situation turning his state unbearable (169). He is being attended by the peasant boy, though family members also arrive at there by that time. As a result, out of sheer pains, he starts inviting death to relieve him from such suffering immediately (171). Hence, death, to Ilych is the phenomenon that not only unveils the mysteries of universe before the dying person, but also it brings the message of comfort and relief from the worries of life, and physical and mental agonies and pains, which Ilych experiences during last few hours of undergoing severe pain before breathing his last (171). The novel concentrates upon death phenomenon, and man’s certain departure from this world one day after spending some specific time period on the face of the earth. Consequently, man’s relation with death is eternal and perpetual, while his association with worldly life is just temporary ...
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