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The Death of Ivan Ilych: How Dying Renews the Meaning of Living - Essay Example

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The Death of Ivan Ilych provides deeper understanding for Man's Search for Meaning, because the former asserts how hedonism only wastes intrinsic living and the only meaningful life in this world entails giving it up for a life of service to others. …
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The Death of Ivan Ilych: How Dying Renews the Meaning of Living
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"The Death of Ivan Ilych: How Dying Renews the Meaning of Living"

Download file to see previous pages Ivan’s life focuses on hedonism, where it refers to “the pursuit of pleasure as the highest good” (Breakthrough Writing Lesson #1) and this veers him away from intrinsic living. Ivan’s life revolves around material possessions and superficial social relationships. Ilych measures himself through his material possessions and social status. He overly concerns himself with his belongings, because he desires to be perceived as a wealthy man: “…with his new and fashionable portmanteau, linen, clothes, shaving …,” he believes that happiness depends on looking successful (Tolstoy Ch.2). Furthermore, his social relations are valuable to him, as it “…[inspires] general respect” (Tolstoy Ch.2). Ivan lives to feel accepted. But as he dies, he realizes how he uses others as instruments and how others see him as means to their ends too. So many people live hedonistically. Hedonism feeds narcissism, however, which Frankl asserts as inconsequential in life: “Self-centeredness is the natural obsession of a life without meaning” (Breakthrough Writing Lesson #2). Frankl notes that the Holocaust changes the concept of existence and renews the meaning of decency: “This was an unrelenting struggle for daily bread and for life itself, for one’s own sake or that of a good friend” (Frankl 16). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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