Theme Of Fate In The Death Of Ivan Ilych

analytical Essay
1492 words
1492 words

We are all condemned to death; it is inescapable. Even if a person doesn’t believe in the concept of destiny, it is undeniable that every person is fated to die at some point. Most people, however, are not aware of when exactly the inevitable will approach. Often in works of fiction, the reader, or sometimes even the character, is aware of their fate. There are many different understandings of destiny, which is one of the reasons why it has played such a large role in so many different literary works throughout the world and history. Fate is one of the principal literary devices used in Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, Shakespeare’s tragic play, Antony and Cleopatra, and Tolstoy’s pedagogical novella, The Death of Ivan Ilych.
Fate is the development of events beyond a person’s control. Essentially it means that there are certain events in everyone’s life that are predetermined and completely unavoidable. In The Iliad, fate is even unchangeable by the gods. The belief is that there is a fixed natural order to the universe and that …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that fate has played a large role in many literary works throughout the world and history.
  • Analyzes how homer's view of fate differs from tolstoy and shakespeare. shakespeare writes more of fortune than of a predetermined destiny.
  • Analyzes homer's epic poem, the iliad, where achilles was the son of peleus, the king of the myrmidons, and the sea-nymph thetis.
  • Analyzes homer's use of foreshadowing to determine future events, fated outcomes, and the weighing of souls. achilles' fate is not set in stone and he could determine his outcome himself.
  • Explains that achilles' death near the end of the trojan war at the hand of paris is mentioned in several stories. his mother tried to make him immortal by dipping him in the river styx, but his heels were left vulnerable.
  • Analyzes how homer's view of fate is dissimilar to that of shakespeare. the english playwright does not write about fate but fortune, or how individual events are affected by chance or the luck of the people involved.
  • Analyzes how mark antony, a fierce roman general, and one of the triumvirs, is the central character in the shakespearean play. he is torn between his sense of duty and his love for cleopatra.
  • Analyzes how fortune plays an enormous role in the lives of the characters, but each individual is capable of exercising freewill. antony uses his free will to take advantage of his luck.
  • Analyzes how at the end of cleopatra's life, she consoles herself with the thought that the victor of this play is not caesar, but it is fortune.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare's fickle fortune and homer’s destined deaths are two ways that fate is used. tolstoy has a fatalistic approach to the subject in the death of ivan ilych.
  • Analyzes how ivan ilych, a member of the court of justice, lived an unexceptionally ordinary life and strived for averageness. he contemplated his life choices and the reason for his agonizing illness and inevitable death.
  • Analyzes how tolstoy's placement of ivan ilych’s death shows that he had no power to influence his future and that his actions were leading to his death were already determined.

Tolstoy, however, has a fatalistic approach to the subject. In The Death of Ivan Ilych, the chronological end of the story is placed at the beginning. From the very beginning, the reader is aware of the title character’s fate. The story then tells of the long and grueling battle with death that Ivan Ilych faces.
Ivan Ilych was a member of the Court of Justice who was "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” (Tolstoy 102). He lived an unexceptionally ordinary life and strived for averageness. As the story progresses, he begins to contemplate his life choices and the reason for his agonizing illness and inevitable death. “Maybe I did not live as I ought to have done, but how could that be, when I did everything properly?” (Tolstoy

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