Heart Of Darkness And Death Of Ivan Ilych Analysis

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Death and Darkness
(Analysis of Heart of Darkness and Death of Ivan Ilych)
The ‘human condition’ is term used to describe really any and all of the personality types, situations, reactions, and lives of human beings. These two pieces of literature, Heart of Darkness and Death of Ivan Ilych, pick apart the human condition more than any other coupled novels. These books were both wrote at the beginning of the twentieth century and like many other writers, Joseph Conrad and Leo Tolstoy both viewed the upcoming century with a rather pessimistic view. Both authors saw the human condition going downhill and fast. These stories both depict the author 's view of the human condition before, as well as what they thought it would become. The Death of
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For Ivan Ilych, he loses his innocence at the age of forty five. Losing your innocence doesn 't have to be when you are young, and Tolstoy proves this through his character Ivan. Ilych realizes at a certain point that he is dying and he can 't stop it. "It 's not a question of appendix or kidney, but of life and...death. Yes, life was there and now it is going, going and I cannot stop it. Yes. Why deceive myself? Isn 't it obvious to everyone but me that I 'm dying, and that it 's only a question of weeks, days...it may happen this moment. There was light and now there is darkness. I was here and now I 'm going there! Where?" (5.15) Conrad also expresses the loss of innocence in the grove scene. The dying slaves are a sight that is very eye opening. It is not a pretty sight for anyone to see, and for Marlow it makes him see the world with a slightly more pessimistic view. Conrad is suggesting that experiencing things in life will cause a person to lose their innocence, due to the unbeautiful nature of humanity and this thing we call life. Life is considered a beautiful thing, but with life comes death and that is when someone directly loses their innocence; at the witnessing or acknowledgment of …show more content…
Conrad and Tolstoy were giving their opinions about the past, present, and future of the human condition. They, like many others expressed that the new century would not be a great new change in the world, but instead a declension of humanity. The comparison and contrasting of these novels are just predictions of what the human condition will become. Tolstoy and Conrad were predicting that humans would become more cruel, more manipulative, causing everyone to live in a more harsh world. The legacy they want to leave behind to their readers is not just that humanity is becoming dark, but that this is what can happen if you don 't live your life right. Their stories are more of a challenge to the human condition more than a condemnation of it. A challenge to let go of our dark hearts and exclaim just as Ivan Ilych did, "So that 's what it is! What joy!"

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