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The Relationship Of Individual To Society In Tolstoy's "The Death Of Ivan Illych."

1377 words - 6 pages

By Sergio BenavidesWrote 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 animportant member of society rather than caring about his wife's happiness can be seenwhen he would put his wife through a living hell to achieve his goals. When Ivan Illychgot married, he thought that by doing so he would improve his status in society. Later on,he realized that he was not happy with his wife, and the love he had felt for her whenthey were lovers was gone after she gave birth to his first son. Ivan thought that bypleasing society by getting married, as any gentleman of his status would normally do; he would make his life more interesting to eyes of his friends. The big issue started whenhe realized that he was not happy with his wife anymore and after she got pregnant lifebecame boring for him. The fact that after a long day of work, Ivan Illych would have togo home and go to bed with his wife absolutely bothered him. He was used to going withfriends, enjoying life having a good time playing cards. That was life for him. But after getting married all his responsibilities as husband required him to stay at home and not going out in order to take care of his family. All these details reflect the fact that Ivan Illych did not enjoyed his life after he got married, but suffered because of the limitations that marriage carried along with it.Ivan lllych's neurosis made his family unhappy. The fact that his illness broughta strange obsession along with it and made his personality change making his family'slife miserable. Ivan Illych was irritated most of the time, all this because of the...

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