The Death of Ivan Ilych

Impact of Death Denial in Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich College

Even the title of Tolstoy’s novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich oozes themes of death and dying, but what makes this piece of writing one of extraordinary kinds, is not simply the descriptive way in which it depicts the process of death and dying for those who are ill, but the novella further creates a space for introspection and philosophizing, where the reader can begin to analyze the underlying themes. One theme in particular, is death, but strongly connected to this central theme, is the further descriptions of denial and how it impacts the way in which Ivan Ilyich and his family live out the final days leading up to his passing. Losing a loved one is never easy - watching them go through the process of death is that much more difficult, and there are many ways in which one can go about confronting the fact of the matter. Some research shows that accepting death and stepping away from the urges to deny the undeniable, may actually be in benefit to not only the family, friends and loved ones of the dying individual, but also it may make the difficult passing of an individual easier for themselves. Perhaps, had Ivan’s family been more accepting of his dying process, Ilyich may have felt his final days were of greater meaning,...

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