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

The Doctor’s

Ivan is struggling he experiences a great deal of pain and goes to see numerous doctors. Every time Ivan goes to a doctor he is given a different diagnosis and he grows increasingly frusterated with himself. Everyone seems to be taking Ivan’s illness lightly to the point that his friends make fun of it.  What I find most important is that the doctor’s treat Ivan just as he treats the petitioners that come before him in court (in a professional and detached manner). However, Ivan realizes that his illness is serious and he begins to understand that death is more than likely to occur. I think that Ivan realizes how money cannot save his life.

– Alexis


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2 thoughts on “The Doctor’s

  1. I definitely think Tolstoy made the doctors identical in mannerisms to Ivan on purpose. Giving him a taste of his own medicine, so to speak.

    I also, just as a reminder to myself and a suggestion to you, plan on blogging later about whether or not Ivan’s illness is physical or mental. It is something we should read further into. Ignoring the fact that the medical knowledge of the times is rather barbaric, there is undoubtedly a mental component to Ivan’s distress.


  2. I have to say that I absolutely love the parallelism used in this aspect of the story. Although again trite, just the way Tolstoy conveys it makes me really feel like Ivan both deserved it and then again didn’t deserve it. This is the only point in the story where I, as the reader, almost feel sorry for Ivan. Then again karma’s a…karma’ll come back and bite you in the butt that’s all I’m saying.

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