The Death of Ivan Ilych Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Ivan Ilych's wife react to each child's loss?

2. In Chapter 6, is Ivan able to replace his thoughts of death?

3. How does Ivan Ilych react to his worsening pain?

4. Where did Ivan Ilych find a new job?

5. What causes Ivan Ilych much distress?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the major conflict in "The Death of Ivan Ilych?" What is a minor conflict in "The Death of Ivan Ilych?"

2. Why do you think Ivan has more difficulty avoiding the thought of his death at work?

3. How is Ivan characterized in Chapter 3?

4. Explain the mood in Chapter 6.

5. How does the opium affect Ivan?

6. Initially, how did Ivan react to this self-revelation in Chapter 5?

7. Describe Gerasim.

8. How could Ivan's death serve as an awakening for his lifetime acquaintance, Peter? Does Peter avail himself of this awakening?

9. Why does Ivan fall into a profound depression?

10. Name four components of the plot in Chapter 1.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose one of the major themes ("We die as we live" or "What constitutes a good life?") and explain what is meant by that theme. How does Tolstoy convey this theme throughout the novel?

Essay Topic 2

Why would Tolstoy choose "The Death of Ivan Ilych" as the title if he writes about Ivan's life? Is Tolstoy writing about more than just Ivan's physical death in the novel? How so?

Essay Topic 3

Explain the "black sack" in Chapter 9. What could the black sack represent to Ivan? Why does Tolstoy use the metaphor of the "black sack?" How does Tolstoy use the metaphor? Do you think Tolstoy uses this metaphor effectively? Can you think of a more effective metaphor Tolstoy could have used to make his point clearer?

(see the answer keys)

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