Analysis of Leo Tolstoy and his work, The Death of Ivan Ilyich

Archive for the month “November, 2011”

Greed and Money

Thus far I completely agree with Christina. From the first page of the novel we see each and every characters true colors. After being notified about Ivan’s death each and every so-called “friend and family member” were merely considered with how much money they would collect from Ivan’s death. Therefore, I find both greed and money to be themes that are going to be prevalent throughout the remainder of the novel. Some examples of greed can be seen through Christina’s posts below. Furthermore, the themes of money and greed are issues that are prevalent not only in the story, but also in our lives every day. Looking at the bigger picture we as readers should understand how when family and money get mixed together it typically doe not turn out well. As seen in the story, there is a lot of tension and pressure resulting from this death (and friends/family members greediness does not help any).

– Alexis


Its all about the money, money, money…

More examples of Ivan’s greed:

“…he gave way to sensuality and to vanity…” pg. 8

Ivan went to Petersburg to “revenge himself on them… who had not known how to appreciate him.” pg.94

Ivan’s house was “all just what is commonly seen of the houses of people who are not exactly wealthy but want to look like wealthy people…” pg.97

He is so shallow that he “insisted on getting everything from an expensive pastry cook…” pg.99

“His official pleasures lay in the gratification of his pride, his social pleasures lay in the gratification of his vanity.” pg.99

I don’t like him at all. lol.

– Christina

Ivan: The Monster Created by Society

  • Ivan is not as good as we like to think…

Pg. 87

“… he gave way to sensuality and to vanity… At school he had committed actions which had struck him beforehand as great vileness, and gave him a feeling of loathing for himself… But later on, perceiving that such actions were committed also by men of good position… he was able… to forget about them completely, and was never mortified by recollections of them.”

  • Looks like our victim enjoyed power as well…

Pg. 89

“… he liked treating such persons affably, almost like comrades; liked to make them feel that he, able to annihilate them, was behaving in this simple, friendly way… Ivan Ilyich felt that everyone… all were in his hands… the consciousness of this power… constituted for him the chief interest and attractiveness of his new position.”

  • He didn’t fall in love with his wife, she was just appropriate for him (pg.90).
  • The marriage started off pleasant but turned ugly when Praskovya got pregnant. Ivan then so kindly used his “official duties” to “protect himself” from her(pg.91).
  • He was a workaholic… the worse his family life got, the more and more he got out of the house (pg.93).

– Christina

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