Summary: The Death Of Ivan Ilyich

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“And all people live, not by reason of any care they have for themselves, but by the love for them that is in other people.” -Tolstoy Tolsey means to explain that the sole purpose people have for live, up until death, is to love and care for others, and not for themselves. As selfish as people may seem, according to Tolstoy, that’s not what drive people to live. In the novel, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, the reader is given a chance to experience what it may be like to die, in the first person. And it's obviously not a pleasant experience, at least for Ivan Ilyich. He spends the book completely transforming from a man with such dignity and care for his family and his work, to a man hating himself, his family, and the world. After a full analysis of the novel, one can assume that Ilyich’s fatality is because of his realization of his …show more content…
At a point in the book when his wife attempts to comfort him in his painfully critical stage, he is described to have “looked his wife straight in the eye, and with a rapidity extraordinary for one so weak, flung himself face down and shouted: ‘Go away! Go away! Leave me alone!’” (129). This is a turning point for Ilyich, as it demonstrates his inability to love again. It’s not his illness, but himself that fails to show any empathy for his wife, who is suffering just as much as he is, and he recognizes this. At another point, again when his wife was in another effort to sooth him of his pain, he is described as “hating her with every inch of his being” (91). This is essentially the same situation, in which he is refusing his own humanity by exerting hatred towards his only care giver, his wife. As Tolstoy himself stated, one lives by how he is loved by others, not by how he loves himself. And by judging his actions, it’s indisputable that his cause of death is not so much his sickness, but his inability to obey the laws of human

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