The Question and Answer section for The Death of Ivan Ilych is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
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....
Neither as a boy nor as a man was he a toady, but from early youth was by nature attracted to people of high station as a fly is drawn to the light, assimilating their ways and views of life and establishing friendly relations with them.
The doctor smiled with a contemptuous affability that said: "What's to be done? These sick people do have foolish fancies of that kind, but we must forgive them."