The relationship of individual to society in Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Illych."

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By Sergio Benavides

Wrote more than a century ago, "The Death of Ivan Illych" it shows an always contemporary dilemma, a question that possibly we all going to ask at some moment of our life .This question summarize the thought of the author and it drives the reader to ask themselves, as Ivan ask in the imagination of Tolstoy one hundred and twenty years ago: "What if my whole life has really been wrong"

To begin with, Ivan Illych did not make true friends. This is show by the actions taken by the court members and colleagues of Ivan lllych when they heard the news about Ivan Illych's death; they simply did not care about him. The thought of visiting his wife right away to present their condolences never crossed their mind. They never had good friends. They friends were never honest, they simply cared about the vacant position that he would leave with his death in the Court and who would take it.

All the people Ivan Illych considered his friends did not visit him while he was sick. Even the members of society he related to during his life and who he thought were good friends of his were never around when he got sick. They all made up excuses not to show up by his place, even when he was about to die. For all these reasons, we can simply state that Ivan Illych's friends were actually not real friends of him, but friends of his social status and his powerful social relations.

Another fact that reflects Ivan Illych's desire of placing his need of becoming an

important member of society rather than caring about his wife's happiness can be seen

when he would put his wife through a living hell to achieve his goals. When Ivan...