Characters[ edit ] Ivan Ilyich Ilyich is a patronymichis surname is Golovin is a highly regarded official of the Court of Justicedescribed by Tolstoy as, "neither as cold and formal as his elder brother nor as wild as the younger, but was a happy mean between them—an intelligent, polished, lively, and agreeable man.
Chapter VII How it happened it is impossible to say because it came about step by step, unnoticed, but in the third month of Ivan Ilych's illness, his wife, his daughter, his son, his acquaintances, the doctors, the servants, and above all he himself, were aware that the whole interest he had for other people was whether he would soon vacate his place, and at last release the living from the discomfort caused by his presence and be himself released from his sufferings.
He slept less and less. He was given opium and hypodermic injections of morphine, but this did not relieve him.
The dull depression he experienced in a somnolent condition at first gave him a little relief, but only as something new, afterwards it became as distressing as the pain itself or even more so.
Special foods were prepared for The death of ivan ilyich assumed by the doctors' orders, but all those foods became increasingly distasteful and disgusting to him.
For his excretions also special arrangements had to be made, and this was a torment to him every time — a torment from the uncleanliness, the unseemliness, and the smell, and from knowing that another person had to take part in it.
But just through his most unpleasant matter, Ivan Ilych obtained comfort. Gerasim, the butler's young assistant, always came in to carry the things out.
Gerasim was a clean, fresh peasant lad, grown stout on town food and always cheerful and bright.
At first the sight of him, in his clean Russian peasant costume, engaged on that disgusting task embarrassed Ivan Ilych. Once when he got up from the commode to weak to draw up his trousers, he dropped into a soft armchair and looked with horror at his bare, enfeebled thighs with the muscles so sharply marked on them.
Gerasim with a firm light tread, his heavy boots emitting a pleasant smell of tar and fresh winter air, came in wearing a clean Hessian apron, the sleeves of his print shirt tucked up over his strong bare young arms; and refraining from looking at his sick master out of consideration for his feelings, and restraining the joy of life that beamed from his face, he went up to the commode.
You must forgive me. It's a case of illness with you, sir. Ivan Ilych was still sitting in the same position in the armchair. It is hard for me to get up, and I have sent Dmitri away. Gerasim, without an effort and without apparent pressure, led him, almost lifting him, to the sofa and placed him on it.
How easily and well you do it all! But Ivan Ilych felt his presence such a comfort that he did not want to let him go. No, the other one — under my feet. It is easier for me when my feet are raised.
It seemed to Ivan Ilych that he felt better while Gerasim was holding up his legs. He again lifted the legs and placed them, and again Ivan Ilych felt better while Gerasim held his legs.
When he set them down Ivan Ilych fancied he felt worse. I've done everything except chopping the logs for tomorrow. There's plenty of time. And strange to say it seemed to him that he felt better while Gerasim held his legs up. After that Ivan Ilych would sometimes call Gerasim and get him to hold his legs on his shoulders, and he liked talking to him.
Gerasim did it all easily, willingly, simply, and with a good nature that touched Ivan Ilych. Health, strength, and vitality in other people were offensive to him, but Gerasim's strength and vitality did not mortify but soothed him.
What tormented Ivan Ilych most was the deception, the lie, which for some reason they all accepted, that he was not dying but was simply ill, and the only need keep quiet and undergo a treatment and then something very good would result.
He however knew that do what they would nothing would come of it, only still more agonizing suffering and death. This deception tortured him — their not wishing to admit what they all knew and what he knew, but wanting to lie to him concerning his terrible condition, and wishing and forcing him to participate in that lie.
Those lies — lies enacted over him on the eve of his death and destined to degrade this awful, solemn act to the level of their visitings, their curtains, their sturgeon for dinner — were a terrible agony for Ivan Ilych.
And strangely enough, many times when they were going through their antics over him he had been within a hairbreadth of calling out to them: You know and I know that I am dying. Then at least stop lying about it! The awful, terrible act of his dying was, he could see, reduced by those about him to the level of a casual, unpleasant, and almost indecorous incident as if someone entered a drawing room defusing an unpleasant odour and this was done by that very decorum which he had served all his life long.
He saw that no one felt for him, because no one even wished to grasp his position. Only Gerasim recognized it and pitied him.The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, first published in , about the sufferings and death of a high-court judge in 19th-century Russia.
Quotes [ edit ] Ivan Ilych’s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible. The Death of Ivan Ilyich rests comfortably on the same bookshelf with other great philosophical fiction (and isn’t all Russian lit philosophical?).
Tolstoy presents the problem, hints at solutions, but raises as many questions as he answers/5(23). The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, first published in , about the sufferings and death of a high-court judge in 19th-century Russia. Quotes [ edit ] Ivan Ilych’s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.
The Death of Ivan Ilych - Kindle edition by Leo Tolstoy. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Death of Ivan Ilych/5().
Aug 04, · To Ivan Ilych only one question was important: was his case serious or not? But the doctor ignored that inappropriate question. From his point of view it was not the one under consideration, the real question was to decide between a floating kidney, chronic catarrh, or appendicitis. Ivan Ilyich's death, the mere fact of the death of a near acquaintance aroused, as usual, in all who heard of it the complacent feeling that, “it is he who is dead and not I.” 3.