"The Death of Ivan Ilyich".

Essay by removedastarsHigh School, 11th grade November 2005

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In every culture there is a supposed "right" way to live. In "The Death of Ivan Ilyich", Ivan Ilyich from the start chooses to take the path laid out for him especially the easiest and simplest. Ivan has to make choices in terms of his job and marriage. These choices eventually catch up with him during his final days while he battles his mysterious illness.

After his formal education in the field of law, Ivan leaves his home with of pocket full of money and freshly tailored attire courtesy his father. "Ivan Ilyich immediately made his life in the provinces as easy and pleasant as it had been at law school," [p. 45] just as any other person would do. We strive to make our lives as comfortable as possible, which is probably one of our greatest downfalls. Enveloped in the greed of perfection the average person often loses sight of what's important.

These artificial elements associated with success range from a promotion to an obsession with wealth.

Ivan Ilyich's view on marriage is definitely one that would not be of sensible judgment. Shortly after beginning his courtship with Praskovya Fyodorovna, she falls in love with him. "Ivan Ilyich had no clear and definite intention of marrying, but when the girl fell in love with him, he asked himself: 'Really, why shouldn't I get married?'" Almost instantaneously the conflicts between the newly-weds began. The narrator gives Ivan an air of complete confusion, unsure why exactly his wife is so infuriated with him. This confusion develops throughout the novella and that eventually cultivate insecurities that torture him till his final hours.

After Ivan's marriage begins to slide down hill, he takes refuge from the conflict by burying himself in his work. Once he withdrew himself from his family life...