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