The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy - Book Report/Review Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
This book review describes a research of the Death of Ivan Ilyich book by Leo Tolstoy. The novel reveals the life and death of Ivan Ilyich, a high official of the 19th century Russia’s Court and at the same time, a miserable husband, and a social climber in Russia’s high-society ladder. …
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92% of users find it useful
The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy"

Download file to see previous pages The story completely exemplifies what Tolstoy believed literature must contain: value and purpose (Zott). There are several stages whereupon this story can be read; nonetheless they are intertwined so inextricably into this masterwork that the density is overwhelming. Its simplicity — a dying man’s realization of the wasted life he lived — has been commonly depicted in Hollywood movies yet hardly ever portrayed and paralleled the superb skillfulness of Tolstoy in writing The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Teitelbaum). Departure from life, rousing of one’s spirituality, and salvation are the most important foundations in the novel. Indeed, the novel’s title may deceive the reader, like Ilyich himself, into believing that it is mainly on death, however ironically at the finale the reader, once more like Ilyich himself, comes into the realization that death is immaterial. While demonstrated in the story, death is the final certainty inevitably faced and acknowledged by all mortals. For Ilyich, the inescapability of his own death encourages a spiritual disaster and life abandonment. In keeping Tolstoy's viewpoint, Ilyich refuses the superficiality of his previous life and holds on to his newly-found spiritual ideals of love and acceptance. Reviewers have accentuated the emptiness of Ilyich's quest for greed and power, a life that is exposed as deceitful and lacking in spiritual profundity. Moreover, the novel has been argued from a psychological angle, as observers see Ilyich's estrangement from his associates and relations throughout his sickness and his propensity to pull out from human contact at his most trying moments. It is only through Gerasim, his poor servant, which he tried to make critical human contact shortly prior to his death....
This book review explores the novel by Leo Tolstoy that was originally published in the Russian language as Smert Ivana Ilycha in 1886, several years following a phase of unhappiness and inner intellectual confusion that ended with his conversion to Christianity. At the time Tolstoy’s novel came out, critics centered on the literary worth of the short story and viewed it as a stinging ironic description of aristocratic Russian society. In relation to this insight, the illness of Ilyich dscribed in the novel is symbolic of the disease of the high-class 19th century humanity. Later on, analysis centered on the dealings of death in The Death of Ivan Ilyich, construing the story as a manifestation of the universal mortality of every individual. The plot is also recognized as an incarnation of Tolstoy's quest for meaning and his views on humanity. Whereas some scholars regard the story as an illustration of Tolstoy's smart employment of verisimilitude, as it embodies a stage every human will ultimately meet; some recognizes the story as a leading model of Tolstoy's didacticism and strict morality. While several readers may think that Ilyich is a wicked character, and that the story is a forewarning against fraud, the researcher thinks that Ivan Ilyich is neither worse nor better than the common people. Ilyich rises above any commoner, who shuns away from the actuality of death to make life meaningful. In Tolstoy's remarks, "Ivan Ilyich's life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible." ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy Book Report/Review”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy Book Report/Review)
“The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy Book Report/Review”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

Character Development Of Ivan Illych In Death Of Ivan Illych (Leo Tolstoy)

...? CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT OF IVAN ILLYCH IN DEATH OF IVAN ILLYCH (LEO TOLSTOY) Ivan Illych was portrayed as an ordinary man who came to the realization of unavoidable facts of life, at the moments of his death. Death of Ivan Illych, as its name implies, is an event only to Ivan but for none. The painstaking acceptance about the past events is momentary for Ivan but, the readers are left to reflect on it. Ivan slowly starts loving his family, then at the first time think about death as certain facet of life. Then with great...
9 Pages(2250 words)Essay

The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Tolstoy

...and Number of the Teacher’s “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” by Leo Tolstoy Introduction Count Leo Tolstoy’s novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich was first published in 1886, is one of the best known works among his late fiction. Leo Tolstoy’s tormented intellectual and spiritual struggles which resulted in his conversion to Christianity form the roots of this story. Ivan Ilyich is the main protagonist of Tolstoy’s late short story, depicted as “a prosperous man, successful by all the standards of...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Leo Tolstoy and Kurosawa

...? Leo Tolstoy and Kurosawa The novel The death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy deals with the life and death of Ivan Ilyich Golovin, the protagonist. To be specific, the protagonist’s realization of his self or enlightenment is the core aspect of the novel. The protagonist’s fear of imminent death forced him to be pessimistic and resulted in gradual enlightenment. This self-realization or the revelation of the secret of life forced him view death as a dilemmatic situation in life. On the other side, the movie Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa deals...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Analysys of the Story Tolstoy The Death of Ivan Ilyich

... of Medical Sociology. Tennessee, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2010 Higgs, Paul, and Jones, Ian. Medical sociology and old age: towards a sociology of health in later life. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis, 2009 Newlin, Esther. “Kisses in La Regenta: the conflict of spiritual and physical desire”. Available from: [Accessed on 23 March 2012]. Tolstoy, Leo. The Death Of Ivan Ilych. Montana, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2004... ?ANALYSIS OF THE STORY TOLSTOY “THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYCH” The story begins with the death of Ivan that is announced to a group of judges in a private meeting...
5 Pages(1250 words)Term Paper

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

...The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy One of the later works of Leo Tolstoy, the novella is preoccupied with the meaning of death, and by extension the meaning of life. The main character, Ivan Ilyich, is a sort of a symbol for common man in the industrial age. Outwardly, he has all the trappings of a successful life, but there is a persistent feeling of hollowness and ennui. As Tolstoy writes, his life had been “the most simple, the most ordinary and therefore most terrible”. This sentiment is all too common in the capitalist age, the rise which...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy

...15 October 2008 Response Paper/Reading Journal The Death of Ivan Ilych- Leo Tolstoy The Death of Ivan Ilych depicts a life of an ordinary citizen who struggle with destiny all his life trying to achieve better position in society. The story vividly portrays a close link between public opinion and personal relationships with Gerasim, it unveils low social values and false traditions dominated in the society. Thesis Ivan Ilych is destined to conform to social values and social norms which play a tragic role in his life. Tolstoy vividly portrays that an individual lives under social pressure which dictates...
2 Pages(500 words)Book Report/Review

The Death of Ivan Illych by Leo Tolstoy

...The Death of Ivan Illych by Leo Tolstoy On my first reading of The Death of Ivan Illych, by Leo Tolstoy, I wondered why Tolstoy took such a circuitous route towards giving an account of the protagonist’s death. On further study, I realized that the story is as much a commentary on life as it is on death. Ivan Illych’s superficial, egoistical attitude towards life is mirrored in the attitude of his family and friends towards his death and it is only when he accepts the falsity of his own attitude that he is able to come to terms with his death. Ivan Illych’s attitude towards life is to make sure that it is “Easy, agreeable, gay and always decorous” (Chapter 2, para 17). There is no room for emotion, no reaching out to anyone... -off world...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Leo Tolstoy

...How Much Land Does a Man Require How Much Land Does a Man Require is a 19th century short story by Leo Tolstoy that focuses around a mans lust for land and how in his quest to fulfill this he loses everything that really matters. Many people consider this to be one of the finest pieces of literature ever written. One of the most impressive things about this story is how the critical themes discussed within can be applied to modern day society. For example, the main theme of the book is greed. The story revolves around a peasant named Pahom who feels that he does not own enough land, even going so far as to suggest he should not fear the Devil himself if he had more. The story covers his quest to own more land, first buying some... is that...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

... A Formal Essay on The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy Leo Tolstoy created a masterpiece in The Death of Ivan Ilych. The story of an aristocratic way of living in a typical Russian environment and the eventual isolation from that kind of life to face an impending death opens the eyes of readers as it makes them realize the real value of life. The author also succeeded in featuring a fraction of a Russian family life, as well as the social implications of being a legal, bourgeois, and professional person in the country. Furthermore, it makes people understand the contrast between the rich and marginalized people, and how different they are when it comes to perceiving life and death in the person of Ilych and the peasant Gerasim... , which...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Ivan Ilyich Paper

...Ivan Ilyich About The of the novel “Leo Tolstoy” is a successful to describe the human realities. He lost his parents’love at the age of 10 years and lived at his aunt’s home. He got the education of law and wrote many useful writing contents, such as novels, stories, etc. for every age group by inspiring the readers (Tolstoy, 1886). Objectives The novel “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” is about the life of a rich family, who does not care humanity and are very materialist. The main character of the novel is Ivan Ilyich, who is a successful magistrate by profession but not...
2 Pages(500 words)Assignment
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Book Report/Review on topic The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy for FREE!

Contact Us