Death Essay

788 Words Jun 17th, 2013 4 Pages
David Je
UIN: 650322242

First Paper Assignment – Compare and Contrast

“Tuesdays with Morrie” and “The Death of Ivan Ilych” both portray a character who is dealing with a serious terminal illness and advance knowledge of their deaths. One story is based on the realistic life of an American professor with the story’s characteristics tone from the 1990’s while the other is set during nineteenth century Russia. Even though Morrie Schwartz and Ivan Ilych both suffered from the illness, their dissimilar lifestyles and beliefs led to different perspective on facing death. One views the knowledge as a blessing and an opportunity to share his life experiences before making his final good-byes, the other agonizes in pain and begs for an end
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Due to his selfish quest for happiness, he acts only to obtain the good for himself and has no value for those that get in the way of his pleasure. He is incapable of seeing other people as human beings since he has no spiritual existence inside of him. And because of shutting others out, society shut its door on him.
During the sixth Tuesday that Mitch went to visit Morrie, they talked about emotions and detachment. Morrie tells Mitch about how he learned to detach himself from his frightening experiences so that he may accept his impermanent life, and embrace his death, which he knows may come at any moment. “Detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrates you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That’s how you are able to leave it.” (Page 96) In detaching from oneself, Morrie means that one can step out of his/her physical feelings and into one's own state of consciousness, so that he/she may gain perspective and composure during a stressful situation. This is how Morrie was able to find peace and relaxation within him even through his physical illness.
In the beginning of Chapter XII of Tolstoy’s story, Ivan starts to painfully scream loudly for three consecutive days, during which time Ivan realizes that his doubts are still unsolved. During this moment, Ivan realizes that moving up in social esteem has not led to joy, fulfillment, and life, but to misery, emptiness, and death instead. Blinded by the values of high society, he…