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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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).
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The narrator exactly knows how each character thinks,feels,and acts throughout the course of the novelette.He can actually reveal the deepest part of the characters’ consciousness.He can expose the innermost thoughts of the characters revealing their transparent attitude towards life,relationships,and the society in general
For example, Ivan says that ‘Death is finished’ an indication of the spiritual death which characterized his whole life. When Ivan died, Pyotr Ivanovich said ‘I thought somehow that he’d never get up from his bed again’ an indication of how people around him were prepared for Ivan’s death (Tolstoy 88).
According to the research findings, this symbolism, the black sack, is connected to the theme of inevitability of death. Even though Ivan never wanted to reach the bottom, he finally did. His story of approaching death steadily is his recognition of death as well as his attempt to compromise with his nullifying and dreadful power.
The artificial life as represented in the story by the characters of Ivan, Praskovya, and Peter. In the story they live in a material world. Artificial life is the deception that hides the true meaning of life and leaves one terrified and alone in the moment of death.
An unexamined life, in this sense, could be taken to mean a life that is not lived to its fullest - a life that contributes little to society or to the others in your own social circle. A person's life can be measured and defined by the number of other lives that it touches.
Gerasim is introduced early in the short story and we know his position in the household from this early description. His role is constant, but pivotal and when Ivan dies in peace, we know that is it partially because of Gerasim's influence.
The story opens with the announcement of Ivan's death.
Along the way, the reader is shown Ivan’s complex feelings towards his wife, children, friends, and his job. These feelings are made all the more difficult because of the fact that for most of the story Ivan
He has been deceived all his life; he thinks he is happy and successful, and most of all, loved and respected, but the way people see and treat him at his most vulnerable moments and after his death demonstrates the sham of humanity’s conventional concepts of happiness and success.
The setting is Terezin, where 15,000 children stayed and from which only a hundred survived after Terezin's liberation. During the Holocaust, “1,500,000 children never saw the war’s end or the world beyond the concentration camp’s walls again” (Hernandez).
It is an integral part of our lives that gives meaning to human existence. According to one of the philosopher Jasper “death is something is unimaginable, really something unthinkable”. In order to understand death from a wider concept we can analyze the philosophy of Jasper on this issue.
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