The Death Of Ivan And Ilyich Essay

823 Words Jul 3rd, 2016 4 Pages
Leo Tolstoy and James Joyce both use the aspect of light and darkness as symbols in their stories to represent the characters and their feelings. In The Death of Ivan and Ilyich, one of the symbols Tolstoy uses is the black sack. This sack was a long narrow sack that was never ending and the character in the story, Ivan, experiences going through this black sack twice. The first time he experiences going through this sack was right after he was given a medicine, opium. Ivan falls into the black sack and keeps falling but doesn’t know what is at the bottom of the sack. Falling through this sack was also painful and long. Right after he woke up, Ivan realized that he had been living his life wrongfully the whole time and everything in his life was false. He experienced the black sack once again during his few last days of his life. He falls through the black sack and this time he sees light at the end of the sack. Tolstoy had used the black sack in this story to represent that Ivan’s life was wrong and painful. Ivan was a middle classed man who was just like everyone else and had believed that he had a good simple life. He had a good job, a wife and kids and enjoyed his life the way it was. He liked a lot of attention and liked being recognized. He believed that he had a very pleasant life and didn’t want anything otherwise. But Ivan had only thought that he was living a pleasant life. He had overlooked the little things. Ivan always avoided anything that would make him…

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