Analysis Of Ivan Ilyich's Life

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Ivan Ilyich lost his purpose, his mind, and nearly all of his adult life in countless attempts to impress others. As death nears, Ivan finally finds fulfillment and unison between his mind and soul. Although Ivan’s life based on propriety from law school to his current state leads to his lack of true friendships as an adult, his memories of his childhood that consist of valuable family relationships positively influence him toward rejecting his mind’s rationalizations of superficial social truth in favor of his soul’s deeper moral truth. As his soul recognizes the impending reality of his death, Ivan Ilyich’s mind rejects this notion by recalling the value of his life based on his childhood, a fulfilling childhood that centered on valuable…show more content…
After demanding that he lives “pleasantly” again, he recalls his childhood but feels like “the memory was about someone else,” confirming the contrast between his younger self with true friendships and his current self who focuses on impressing others (46). The narrator summarizes this phenomenon by suggesting a trade off between “love” for “disenchantment” and “friendships” for “deadly service,” criticizing Ivan abandoning his true self—consisting of friendly, childlike relationships—for the falsity of…show more content…
After his soul removes the blinders of propriety from his eyes, Ivan clearly sees no positive outcome results from his transformation from a law student to an adult. Furthermore, Ivan concretely deals with this truth in his thoughts as he claims “in public opinion I was going uphill, and exactly to that extent life was slipping away” (46). This realization differentiates between measuring the value of Ivan’s life in how others perceive him or in relation to universal truth. Because Ivan lives to impress others, the universal truth—which his soul attempts to help him understand—makes his whole life seem like a complete failure, so he “recalled all the correctness of his life” instead of rejecting the falsity of his adult life (47). His soul recognizes why he faces this physical and emotional torment and needs this catharsis from propriety and superficial human relationships. Unwilling to confront his flaws, Ivan allows the disconnect between his soul’s universal truth and his mind’s rationalizations to thrive, emphasizing how Ivan wants to accept the faulty social truth instead of moral
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