Write a brief paper of 1-2 pages (500-600 words) concerning The Death of Ivan Illyich. Some elements and topics of possible interest are below. (Include brief references to specific passages.)

  1. How would you characterize Ivan Illyich’s death?
  2. To what effect did Tolstoy structure the narrative time of the story as he did (beginning with the announcement of his death, and moving back in time to the story of his life and the experience of his demise)? Wrapping back, does the last chapter set the first chapter into a different light?
  3. Does Ivan experience compassion in the midst of his suffering? Is his suffering more than simply pain – what amplifies or provides solace amidst his illness? Are there figures who ease his suffering? Are the physicians helpful?

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