The meaning of "it" is very complex in the story "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" by Leo Tolstoy. The character that gives this word meaning is called Ivan llyich. Ivan llyich was a Russian judge and he realizes "it" when he became ill.
When Ivan Ilyich was becoming sick, many of the doctors came to check on him. Ivan had a problem with these doctors because they dodged the fact that Ivan was going to die. Ivan saw right through these physicians, knowing that they were clouding their diagnosis. To Ivan Llyich only one question was important: was his case serious or not? The doctors ignored this question and from there on Ivan had to decide weather a floating kidney or appendicitis was his diagnostic. Ivan starts to use the word it, when he starts to get pains around his body. Ivan was very attending to it.
He watched for everything that might disturb it and he became irritable at the slightest infringement of it.
When Ivan was healthy his life was satisfied but when death, meaning it faced him he was overwhelmed with loneliness. He was so lonely that he became depressed and started to blame himself for it. He even tried to hide it among his friends and his family but he couldn't because it wasn't going to go away. Ivan Llyich started to realize the impact from it, when he noticed that here was no light in his eyes. He tells his wife, "don't u see it? Why, he's a dead man! Look at his eyes- there's no light in them". Ivan started to realize the impact that it was going to make on his life. He realizes that it wasn't a question of appendix or kidney, but a matter of life or death.