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Ivan Ilyich

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In the Death of Ivan Ilyich he said maybe I did not live as I ought to have done,' it suddenly occurred to him. 'But how could that be, when I did everything properly?' he replied, and immediately dismissed from his mind this, the sole solution of all the riddles of life and death, as something quite impossible. This important passage appears in Chapter IX and shows Ivan's moral problem. The fact that Ivan questions the truth of his past life reveals Ivan's growing awareness of the true meaning of his life. Ivan still thinks that he will find happiness by copying the behavior of other people. He is not yet aware of Tolstoy's values: compassion and love, and their importance in living a happy and correct life. Tolstoy's believed that living rightly will provide answers to all the riddles of the world. The Death of Ivan Ilyich shows a direct comparison to the troubles of George in the movie Life as a House. George also believed he lived his life according to what he thought was the meaning of life until he came to the realization of his pending death. This is when both characters looked back on their lives and found no purpose they found emptiness. George on the other hand did not find happiness copying other people he came to point where he needed to change his life. George even told his son about change in this passage "You know the great thing, though, is that change can be so constant you don't even feel the difference until there is one. It can be so slow that you don't even notice that your life is better or worse, until it is. Or it can just blow you away, make you something different in an instant. It happened to me. Both characters had a dramatic turing point in their lives. In Seneca On the shortness of life there is a passage that says People tend to protest and complain rather than change their habits. Complaining about the time we have wasted spends the present in a way that is not pleasant to reflect upon the past.

Notes Editors. (n.d.). Note on The Death of Ivan Ilych. Retrieved October 18, 2011, from http://www.notes.com/lit/ivanilych/



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