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25th century Essay Topics & Paper Examples

The Death of Ivan Ilych

Ivan Ilych, from Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilych, is “the most simple and most ordinary” (Tolstoy 2441) person. Although a simple life is generally considered a virtue, Ivan’s life is simple in the wrong way. Ivan led a self-centered, materialistic, and shallow life, with little care for genuine human relationships. He conformed to the values and expectations set by his social superiors. He chose his friends based on their social standing. Ivan’s life is barren of individuality and true relationships. In another way, Ivan is a robot. Due to this “ordinary” nature of Ivan’s life, Ivan becomes ill and dies. Ivan’s course to death is a long and agonizing one. In his last three days, Ivan screams day and…