So on receiving the news of Ivan Ilych’s death the first thought of each of the gentlemen in
that private room was of the changes and promotions it might occasion among themselves or
their acquaintances. (Tolstoy, 2)
The first thing these men thought about was money. They thought about all the money they would gain from a promotion. The author was showing us how self-centered these upper class people were. He showed us that the characters thought that money could buy them happiness. By reading this book, I have gained the outside knowledge to understand the upper class better through the eyes of Tolstoy, the author of The Death of Ivan Ilych.
Reading through the book A Simple Soul, you learn more about the lower class through the eyes of the main character, Felicite. Felicite was a maid for a rich lady. She never had much luck in her life. Her lover ended up leaving her and marrying a rich lady so he did not have to go to war. She thought he was being a coward because of his love for her but she was wrong. In the book, Theodore (Felicites lover):
mentioned a difficulty; the previous year, his parents had purchased a substitute for him; but any day he might be drafted and the prospect of serving in the army alarmed him greatly. To
Felicite his cowardice appeared a proof of his love for her, and her devotion to him grew
stronger. When she met him, he would ...
... middle of paper ...
...lych and The Simple Soul. Ivan’s death showed the true side of his coworkers and the true side of the upper class. Felicite showed the hard work of the lower class and the obstacles they had to overcome through their life. These two stories gave you the insight of the upper class and lower class life. The Little Black Boy poem gave you knowledge of the Africans trying to love the English who had put the Africans through tremendous pain. The boy was still very loving, which was taught from his mother. This story is an example of outside knowledge as it shows you the feelings of the Africans. Self-knowledge and outside knowledge tend to work together but also tend to have a bad reaction. Self- knowledge can be corrupted by the opinion of the experienced. Even though self-knowledge can be corrupted it still shows you the important insight to the world’s history.
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