BagerBach

The Death of Ivan Ilych

by Leo Tolstoy

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Rating: 7 / 10

Thoughts

The Death of Ivan Ilych is short and hard to put down. It is a classic. A reminder that we will all die some day. It is like having Ivan's life flashing before your eyes, slowing down upon the moments of his death.


Besides considerations as to the possible transfers and promotions likely to result from Ivan Ilych’s death, the mere fact of the death of a near acquaintance aroused, as usual, in all who heard of it the complacent feeling that, “it is he who is dead and not I.”

When they heard of his death, it aroused the feeling that they were just glad it wasn't them.

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.

Even if they were his colleagues and he had been gentlemanly to them, they first thought of themselves when they heard of his death.

But the more intimate of Ivan Ilych’s acquaintances, his so-called friends, could not help thinking also that they would now have to fulfil the very tiresome demands of propriety by attending the funeral service and paying a visit of condolence to the widow.

And they were annoyed that they now had 'obligations' for the funeral and to pay condolences to the widow.

“That does for our bridge!  Don’s object if we find another player.  Perhaps you can cut in when you do escape,” said his playful look.

His closest 'friends' visited his house. His dead body lay there, and all they wanted to do was play bridge.

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