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

Leo Tolstoy was born in the Tula region of Russia to the wealthy and prominent Tolstoy family. He was the fourth of five children born to Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy (which curiously shares a name with the title of one of Tolstoy’s works, but more on that later) and Mariya Tolstaya. Leo Tolsoy’s parents were a Count and Countess which would put him very close to royalty.

Tolstoy went through many deaths in his life as previously mentioned on the home page. Both of his parents passed away when Tolstoy and his siblings were young. Furthermore, he unfortunately experienced a public execution in Paris which left a mark on his life. Tolstoy also had thirteen children, five of whom died at birth. Eventually his marriage also died.

Tolstoy went to school at Kazan University, to study law. He never finished college and soon returned home to Yasnaya Polyana. After living an empty life, he soon joined the army with his brother. Long after his stint in the army he again returned home, but this time opening thirteen schools for his serfs’ children. Although short-lived, these schools showed Tolstoy’s passion in education.

On September 23, 1862 married Sophia Andreevna Behrs. Even after learning of Tolstoy’s former sexual escapades, Sophia (referred to as Sonya) chose to trust him and their love flourished. Sonya became Leo’s personal secretary and their work together only brought them closer. As their life together progressed, they grew distant and their love finally died.

In 1910, Leo Tolstoy passed away at a train station in Astapovo. He died only days after building up the courage to leave his family and unhappy home life. Leo Tolstoy died of pneumonia after leaving his family in the middle of Winter.

– Nelson


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