The Death of Ivan Ilych

July 06, 20212 min read

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

After reading other Russian literature I knew I was getting into another tough read, but suprisingly Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilych is clear and accessible, written in a way that I thought was very fluid.

That was an absolute delight seeing that the novella was beautiful. It follows the life of Ivan Ilych in his final weeks before his eventual death. We see him ignore the notion of mortality, before becoming thoroughly afraid of it, chasing anything that could give him hope until he realises that he is on deaths’ doorstep. His moments near death give him the only time in his life to reexamine the charade of life he was living, to realise his only moments of joy were in his childhood memories.

Further nearing death, he understands the pain he has caused to others to softly mumble “Forgive me”, words that unfortunately do not reach his family.

I think this novella stands the test of time to give readers a chance to pause in their lives and truly question whether they are living the life they want to live, hopefully at a stage in life where one can make amends and correct their course.

A highly recommended read!

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Apurva Shukla

Created by Apurva Shukla.

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