Critical Analysis

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Angelica Castillo
Engl 1302.2002
9 February 2013
Normalcy in Life
The Death of Ivan Ilych by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy is a novella focusing on the problems that normalcy in life will bring. Ivan Ilych, the main character in the novella, is a man who, “had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.” This novella is about Ilych’s life and death and his epiphany of how to not be materialistic or normal and enjoy life more. Ilych was a man who brought normality to all his aspects in life including his marriage and that is what made his marriage a tradegy. Ilych did not seek anything else beyond normalcy when it came to marrying Praskovya Feborovna. Tolstoy wrote, “Ilych had at first no definite intention of marrying, but when the girl fell in love with him he said to himself “Really, why shouldn’t I marry?” and by that Ilych just settled with her because she fell in love with him not because he fell with her in return and direly wanted to marry. Tolstoy mentioned, “ Ilych might have aspired to a more brilliant match, but even this was good.” That confirms that Ilych was not looking for an extraordinary women or even a soul mate but merely a women who was compatible with him and one that “was good.” After Ilych got married the marriage came to ruins because he did not try to bridge the gap that he and his wife had. He settled for the normal conversation but never attempted to do some hard work to get the communication above and beyond. He wanted the normalcy he always had and he applied that manner of thinking to his marriage, which lead the marriage to breaking apart. Since he was not happy with the way his life was at home, he began to focus on his job, which lead him to be more ambitious but not enough to push him to be extraordinary at work. He was still normal in comparison to what he could have been. Tolstoy’s short story was an incredible lesson to any willing individual. It teaches of how normalcy can make a person’s...
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