Day 4

The Death of Ivan Ilych Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    The chapters are getting shorter. Why?

    We are now fully in Ilyich's mind, despite the continuing omniscient POV. As he lapses in and out of consciousness, as his life slips away from him, so does the structure of the story follow his mental state. This is a fantastic illustration of the eternal writer's dictum: content dictates form.

  2. 2

    Why is Ilyich so nasty to his wife? What does Fyodorovna represent to him, and who is he actually responding to? How does Fyodorovna deal with this?

    At this point, Fyodorovna has become a symbol of everything wrong with Ilyich's life. Her treatment of him points directly to his treatment of her; in a way, when looking at his wife, he is...

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