First Paper Assignment – Compare and Contrast
“Tuesdays with Morrie” and “The Death of Ivan Ilych” both portray a character who is dealing with a serious terminal illness and advance knowledge of their deaths. One story is based on the realistic life of an American professor with the story’s characteristics tone from the 1990’s while the other is set during nineteenth century Russia. Even though Morrie Schwartz and Ivan Ilych both suffered from the illness, their dissimilar lifestyles and beliefs led to different perspective on facing death. One views the knowledge as a blessing and an opportunity to share his life experiences before making his final good-byes, the other agonizes in pain and begs for an end to his vicious sentence of suffering. These two men show contrasts in their identical fates, but only one of them was able to find a way to love. Morrie was able to share some of his feelings and stories with his family, friends, and the public during his final days. Morrie knew how to communicate with his visitors. When they spoke, he would block away other thoughts and really pay attention to what they had to say and after they were done talking, he would give them his input on the conversation. Thousands of people from all over the world would write letters and/or pay a visit to Morrie because he was inspirational and actually cared about the people in his life. Therefore, Morrie was always surrounded by love and happiness which helped him overcome his battle of facing death. Unlike Morrie, Ivan on the other hand, suffered a slow and painful death. Ivan was alienated from his family and friends, and trapped by loneliness, fear, doubt, anger and despair. Even when Ivan’s wife Praskovya and his family try to check up on him, he would neglect them – “Go away! Go away and leave me alone!” (Chapter XI). One of the reasons that he distant himself away from his family and friends is because he is aware of the artificial...
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