0u5a1 Ivan Ilyich Paper

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Date Submitted: 11/18/2012 08:36 AM

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For this assignment I chose option B.

What does this story teach you about death and dying?

Imagine that has a chance, post-death, to write an essay in which he gives advice to others.

* What has he learned in his life? State what he would say.

* You might mention his evaluation of the support or lack of it he got from his doctors, his lawyer friends, his son, his servant, Gerasim, and his wife.

As you write this, keep in mind the contrast between instrumental (I-it) and intrinsic (I-thou). For example, did you treat others more as thou after your illness, compared with before? Did your illness change you from an instrumental to an intrinsic approach to life?

My name is Ivan Ilyich. I am writing to you from the grave. This is a reflection of my life, what I have learned and my advice to you.

“From my earliest youth, I had been drawn to people of high standing in society as a moth is to a light; I adopted their views on life and established friendly relations with them”. (Tolstoy, 1981). When I graduated law school, I obtained money from my father for suits, new luggage, linens and toiletries, all from the finest shops. I did not rely on my own good sense to direct my moral character. I believed that if I was a carbon copy of high society, my life would go according to plan and my life would be fulfilled and have meaning.

I spent five years as a magistrate before accepting a position as an examining magistrate. This position gave me more authority. It was also here that I met my wife, Praskovya. I was not looking to marry. “When Praskovya fell in love with me, I asked myself, “Really, why shouldn’t I get married?” (Tolstoy, 1981). I didn’t marry because I loved her, I married her because the people within my social group approved of the match.

We began preparing for our marriage by purchasing new furniture, new dishes. Soon Praskovya was pregnant. Life then became difficult and instead of dealing with it, I began working more and...