William Woolf And The Death Of Ivan

2011 WordsOct 1, 20149 Pages
It’s the year 2014. We have discovered flight, we have been to outer space, we have the Internet. We even have GPS shoes for those who can’t read a map. What more is there to learn, to discover, to create? Yet we are never satisfied, constantly hungry for more answers to our questions. For writers like Leo Tolstoy and Virginia Woolf, understanding the world and its intricacies is essential. However, their approaches to truth differ: Tolstoy argues in “The Death of Ivan Ilych” that there is a clear truth while in her short story “Monday or Tuesday,” Woolf sees it as more ambiguous. Regardless of whether there is a definite truth, these two works reveal that it can only be reached through experience. It is the journey to find truth that is often more important than the truth itself. Woolf and Tolstoy experiment with perspective and language to illuminate their understanding of truth. Tolstoy, a Realist, aims to enlighten society through his exploration of fundamental questions about life, and his narrator is crucial to this mission. In “The Death of Ivan Ilych,” Tolstoy’s use of third-person omniscient narration gives the reader full access to the necessary information that Ivan and the other characters lack. Although Ivan may not understand life’s essence until his final moments, the mere fact that there is an all-knowing narrator suggests that there is a definite underlying theme to unveil. Moreover, the narrator encapsulates Ivan’s superficial world with simple language

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