The Death Of Ivan Ilyich

1418 Words Dec 9th, 2016 6 Pages
Societal Pressure in The Death of Ivan Ilyich According to C.Joybell C, “The unhappiest people in this world are those who care the most about what other people think” (Goodreads). I can see this in my life and also in Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich. The main character Ivan Ilyich is dying from and unknown disease and while suffering finds himself reflecting on his life choices. Ivan consistently questions himself in the text, such as in his statement “What if my life has all been wrong?” (775). He struggles with the idea that his life might have been a waste and that he really did not get to live. Ivan has always made decisions based off of society’s rules and not his own. In fact, he directly quotes this in the text,” It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false” (776). Ivan Ilyich was never a man who thought for himself or let alone went off impulse. He always thought about what people around him would do or think about his decisions. Tolstoy’s shows in this novel what can happen when you live life by your own rules and what can happen when you live by societies rules such as Ivan Ilyich. He shows that both choices come with major consequences. In this story Ivan Ilyich had two brothers one older and one younger. The older…
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