The Death of Ivan Ilyich

by

Leo Tolstoy

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Death of Ivan Ilyich can help.

Respice Finem

Respice finem, the Latin inscription that Ivan Ilyich has stitched onto his expensive luggage, represents his cognitive dissonance about his mortality. The phrase reminds him of the fact that life will not last forever…

read analysis of Respice Finem

Whist

Because whist—the card game that Ivan and his friends play—serves as a distraction that briefly helps Ivan ignore his illness, it stands for the shallow, materialistic concerns that people like Ivan tend to gravitate toward…

read analysis of Whist

The Bruise

The bruise Ivan gets while trying to hang curtains in his new apartment is a physical manifestation of the fact that his obsession with status and wealth is detrimental to his wellbeing. When he secures…

read analysis of The Bruise