6/5 The Death of Ivan Ilyich

In the famous novella, The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy,  Ivan Ilyich is essentially dead because he suffers from pain and his pain can’t be relieved by medications. He has lost the taste in food and finds it disgusting but one day Gerasim, a servant comforts him and he finds  out his pain is relieved when she is around.  Ivan is in physical pain and might die soon but those around him use a different set of vocabulary words to describe his health .Instead of saying he is dying but he is simply ill. Ivan is unhappy with how everyone is in denial and doesn’t realize he is going to die soon. This brings the idea of how our society is scared to talk about death or it’s just a taboo. We do not want to see the truth especially when a loved one is passing away.  In the novella, Geraism accepts pain as part of life and knows the value of life and death.  This makes Ivan want to spend his final days with Geraism because she accepts that he is going to pass away.  Tolstoy might be using this story as an awareness for people to open their eyes and not to be afraid to talk about death. Because sometimes not talking about certain things can lead to a misunderstanding.


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