Leo Tolstoy

Hardikkumar Patel
ENG 102-036
07 March 2009
Ivan’s Perplexity
“The Death of Ivan Ilych” was written in 1886, which was the first major fictional work published by the Tolstoy. This short story starts with couple of Ivan’s friends discussing about his death in a court during break. All of them were thinking about their own promotion to Ivan’s position after his death. Even Ivan’s wife was thinking about the money that she would receive from the government on occasion of her husband’s death. After Tolstoy discussed about the funeral of Ivan in detail, he then describes about the Ivan’s life and the story shifts for more than thirty years in the past. Tolstoy mentioned about the family of Ivan who was the second son of their parents. After some time, Ivan realized that he needs to get married in order to fulfill the formality of the society. After he got married, he got the promotion as he switch to the country. He was building up a new house while he fell from the stepladder. And after that, he realized his physical condition degenerates and he was dying. And finally, the story ends with the death of Ivan. But there was a very intense period between falling from the stepladder and his death which Tolstoy brings out very well.
In a story “The Death of Ivan Ilych,” Leo Tolstoy brings out the importance of the gap between the inner truth and the outer appearance of the characters. Tolstoy described the character of Ivan as a very perplexed and not being sure whether he washappy living his life or not. He was not convinced with the society’s way of living and he just focused on his own work. He didn’t want to get involved in any kind of situation and remain very quiet and alone until he got married. His life had been changed after he got married and specifically after he fell from the stepladder while building up a new house. After he realized the increase in pain, he then accepts that compassion is the key to correct living and retreats...