The Death of Ivan Ilych

Ivan Ilyich

what comic scene takes place at Praskovua Fydorovnas?

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What chapter is this in?

8 to the end

The footman, the doctors, and Iván Ilych's own family parade themselves before Iván Ilych, one after another, all saying and performing one set of things while feeling and thinking another. The hypocrisy is so deeply ingrained that Iván Ilych is probably the only one that notices the gap between inner and outer worlds. The others live with these two worlds fundamentally disconnected, and to Tolstoy this is one form of spiritual crisis.

Iván Ilych is able to recognize their falsity in part because he once used to live this way himself. When he's dealing with the doctors, Iván Ilych is reminded of his old life as a lawyer: ". . . Iván Ilych submits to it all as he used to submit to the speeches of the lawyers, though he knew very well that they were all lying and why they were lying" (157). Illness and mortality are horrible to contemplate, but at least this contemplation has separated Iván Ilych from the hypocrisy of his old life. His awareness of falseness, that of others and of his former self, is a painful but necessary step toward something deeper.