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Tolstoy´s Ivan Ilyich Essay

Decent Essays
Tolstoy began the story with chapter one, with the death of Ivan Ilyich and the narration of Pyotr Ivanovich, a close friend of Ivan’s. As demonstrated in the first chapter, there are evident flaws to the society that the two lived in. Pyotr’s narration suggests to the reader the materialistic, and selfish motives that individuals in the society possessed. Furthermore, the reader understands that individuals of this materialistic society sought to obtain pleasantness and propriety for their lives. In addition, the reader understands that individuals of this society are conformists, concerned wholly with the image they portray of themselves to society. Tolstoy begins the story from Pyotr’s perspective and narration because Pyotr is a…show more content…
“…And got down to what was obviously her chief business with him: to ask how, in connection with her husbands death, she could obtain a grant of money from the government.” (Tolstoy pg 39-40) These individuals are primarily concerned with social matters and materialistic views in which they will be most advantaged. Ivan Ilyich was no exception. For example, all the endeavors Ivan possessed in his lifetime were to obtain a better job and focus on receiving a high income, just as all individuals in his society desired. (Tolstoy, pg 47) By introducing the reader to the materialistic views so clearly evident in this society, the reader could gain an understanding of Ivan Ilyich’s actions and understand the interests that occupied him during his lifetime. Secondly, with Pyotr narrating the first chapter of the book in response to his so-called “friend,” Ivan Ilyich, the reader understood that individuals of this materialistic society sought to obtain pleasantness and propriety for their lives. Both Ivan and Pyotr had a desire for pleasantness, and in a quest of attaining this pleasantness; they distanced themselves from an actual, involved living. In turn, their priorities are distorted for they have not real motives in accepting the hardships that life presents. For instance, at the service for Ivan, Pyotr was highly uncomfortable.“… [He] Entered the room where the body lay. The service began: candles,
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