The Death of Ivan Ilych – Theme

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The Death of Ivan Ilych – Theme
One of the main themes of Tolstoy’s story of The Death of Ivan Ilych is detachment from life, considering that all material things can substitute the true meaning of life: compassion and care for others. Throughout the story Tolstoy describes Ivan Ilych’s desire for property, a decorous living, and pleasurableness all while making this his first and most important priority. Ivan Ilych’s occupations with work concerns and interior decoration are his way of avoiding the real world around him, specially his life with wife Praskovya Fedorovna. Ivan Ilych greatly misplaced the importance in life and so did all the other characters in the story, with the exception of Gerasim, at the end he was the one to make him question his whole life, find redemption and accept his impending death. Throughout the story Tolstoy describes Ivan Ilych’s desire for property, a decorous living, and pleasurableness all while making this his first and most important priority. The narrator shows how eager Ivan Ilych was to get into a more suitable professional position with a bigger salary so he could finally get the home he always dreamt of and be able to furnish it with items that seemed affluent and in good taste. He was determined to make his house perfect; he chose the wallpapers and upholstery and supervised everything to make sure everything was immaculate, the pursuit for elegance and material perfection was his greatest pleasure and ironically it all led to his premature death. In this story Tolstoy shows us how Ivan Ilych’s main importance in life was getting ahead in his professional life so he could keep growing his so called wealth and material things, this is where he had placed his reason for happiness and self-worth. Ivan Ilych’s occupations with work concerns and interior decoration are his way of avoiding the real world around him, specially his life wife Praskovya Fedorovna. Ivan Ilych never really put much emphasis in family and...
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