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The gap between inner truth and outer appearance becomes apparent nearly every time two characters speak to each other. Hypocrisy is a way of life for the novel's characters, as nearly every statement is made to hide real motivations and feelings. Worse yet, most are at some level aware of the gap, and choose to ignore it. As Iván Ilych grows more ill, the hypocrisy in the world around him hurts him as much as his sickness. In Gerásim, the gap does not exist, and Iván Ilych is struck powerfully by the peasant boy's example.
The Death of Ivan Ilych