Leo Tolstoy born on August 28, 1828. He was a Russian writer, and he was also the author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina which are two of his most well-known works. The Death of Ivan Ilych begins with Ivan’s death and the news of Ivan’s death spread around to his friends and co-workers. Ivan is a judge he is a magistrate, official of the court. He was living in Russia in the 1800s. When Ivan’s friends hear about his death, they were not distraught, they don’t think about his family. They rather think about how his death might personally benefit them. According to me the sad aspect in his story was, Ivan leads a conventionally happy and conventional by all accounts life. He goes with the flow of what society asks and expects of him and he does this in a way that, during his life, he is pleased and complacent and contest. However, as he gets closer to his death, he becomes less content and less assured that the course he has maintained throughout his life is, in fact, the right one. Before Ivan got ill, he had a job as a magistrate, but he’s wasn’t happy with the job, he was hoping for a job that gets a bigger paycheck. So, went to St. Petersburg and requests an audience with a friend of his. So, he attained that job, which would pay him 5,000 rubles a year.
After he got the job, he bought a house, he decorated the house in a way that is befitting of an upper-class individual. In the decorating process, he climbed up a ladder and while adjusting drapes, he slips off the ladder and hits the side of his torso. Over time the injury becomes more and more malicious and becomes more and more serious. Ivan goes to see a lot of doctors and they treated him in the same perfunctory, in the same style that he used to treat the petitioners at the court. They don’t treat him like a person but like a case or a problem to be solved. He begins to despair that they don’t have his best interests at heart. He had one friend in the household and his name was Gerasim, he was a young servant. He recognized Ivans was on a downward slope.
At the end of their life, Ivan had a discussion with his inner soul. The soul asks him “Ivan what do you want.” Ivan responds, “I want to live.” His inner soul responds and asks him “the quality of life you had before you were ill is that truly living.” The moral of the story as if you live a conventional life up to and in line with the expectations of the society of the day, then you’re going to be happy in a conventional was. But at the end of your life, you might look back upon your accomplishment and you might begin to despair because those accomplishments look hollow and empty in the light of that you accomplished them only because you were expected to.