Ira Therebel's Reviews > The Death of Ivan Ilych

The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
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's review
Jul 28, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: russian-literature, classic-literature, fiction, ex-ussr

The first time I read it I didn't like it so much. But when re-reading It seemed to be so much better. I am not sure if it is because I didn't have strong expectations about it's depth, if I could see something that I didn't the first time or because second time I read it in Russian which made it so much better.

It does make one think. The realization and shock of Ivan Ilych when he is facing his own death is pretty interesting. We all know that we will die, yet we don't really believe it until it is there. this is also shown with his co-workers who are just happy that it isn't them.

And then of course his frustration over having wasted his life. This is something one fears, that when one is on the deathbed one realizes that it was all wrong. And it is hard to say now if this will happen since we are at the stage when we still don't "believe" that death will come. What makes it a bit more depressing is how easy it is to relate to Ivan Ilych. One doesn't have to have the same personality. How I am living my life is very different from him, and yet there are regrets, shallow decision etc. which are present in life of all average people. But luckily for us, we have more time to review this life and see what we can change than Ivan Ilych.
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