Day 5

The Death of Ivan Ilych Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    "What kept [Ilyich] from getting into [the hole] was the claim that his had been a good life." Why is this so? If he had a good life, why is he so desperate to keep it?

    He knows it's a lie, and it's the fact that it's a lie that keeps him alive. He's still, on a certain level, clinging to "decency," to the comfort that sustained him throughout his entire life - and to the ego that developed around that comfort in order to keep itself going. Ilyich has to let go entirely in order to move forward - and as we are about to see, it's the love of others that lets him do that.

  2. 2

    "He also wanted to say 'Forgive,' but said 'Forgo.'" Tolstoy's choice of word here is no accident. What...

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