Latterly during the loneliness in which he found himself as he lay facing the back of the sofa, a loneliness in the midst of a populous town and surrounded by numerous acquaintances and relations but that yet could not have been more complete—either at the bottom of the sea or under the earth—during that terrible loneliness Ivan Ilyich had lived only in memories of the past. Pictures of his past rose before him one after another. They always began with what was nearest in time and then went back to what was most remote—to his childhood—and rested there. If he thought of the stewed prunes that had been offered him that day, his mind went back to the raw shriveled French plums of his childhood, their peculiar flavor and the flow of saliva when he sucked their stones, and along with the memory of that taste came a whole series of memories of those days: his nurse, his brother, and their toys. "No, I mustn't thing of that....It is too painful," Ivan Ilyich said to himself, and brought himself back to the present—to the button on the back of the sofa and the creases in its morocco."Morocco is expensive, but it does not wear well: there had been a quarrel about it. It was a different kind of quarrel and a different kind of morocco that time when we tore father's portfolio and were punished, and mamma brought us some tarts...." And again his thoughts dwelt on his childhood, and again it was painful and he tried to banish them and fix his mind on something else.
- Ivan Ilyich feels sorry about tearing his father’s portfolio when he was a small child.
- Ivan Ilyich is missing the materialistic life he once lived.
- Ivan Ilyich is feeling lonely, and he longs for a good friend or acquaintance.
- Ivan Ilyich feels lonely, and his childhood memories cause him more pain.
- Ivan Ilyich remembers his life before falling prey to the illness.