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 long after Ivan Ilych sees the doctor does Chapter 5 begin?

2. How many of Ivan Ilych's children die?

3. What are two of Ivan Ilych's symptoms?

4. What did Praskovya Fedorovna tell Peter Ivanovich about the main character?

5. What does Ivan Ilych recognize in the doctor's professional air?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Ivan's sense of power juxtaposed in Chapter 2?

2. What does Ivan's self-revelation turn into?

3. When could Ivan have changed his idea of the "good life" in Chapter 4?

4. What is the conflict that Ivan experiences in Chapter 8?

5. What is ironic about the opening of Chapter 3 when it states that 1880 is "the hardest year of Ivan's life?"

6. Discuss how Ivan's memories of the past make him feel.

7. At the moment Ivan admits to himself that he is dying, how does he feel toward his family?

8. What does Ivan's wife represent to him? Why does Ivan keep sending his wife out of the room?

9. Why do Ivan's wife and his doctor give him opium?

10. What is the overarching theme of "The Death of Ivan Ilych?"

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

How is Tolstoy's own life represented in "The Death of Ivan Ilych?" Include how he grew up, his early adulthood and what he came to believe later in his life. Be sure to include supporting evidence from the novel as well as independent biographical information about Leo Tolstoy.

Essay Topic 2

What role does religion play in Ivan's dying and death? Support your answer. Does Ivan welcome religion as a comfort while he is dying? Does Ivan scorn religion because he blames God for his death? Does Ivan go along with religious rituals to please his wife as he's gone along throughout his life doing things to please others?

Essay Topic 3

Why does Tolstoy choose to use the flashback technique in Chapter 1 when he begins the novel with the funeral? How does Tolstoy's use of this technique help to get the themes across?

(see the answer keys)

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