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. What major theme of the novel is introduced in Chapter 6?

2. Is Ivan Ilych successful in understanding this?

3. How does Ivan try to live?

4. What does Ivan Ilych see in the eyes of his brother-in-law?

5. When Ivan Ilych gets home from the doctor, what does he do?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Explain how reactions to Ivan's death by Gerasim and Ivan's son differ from the reactions of all the other characters in Chapter 1.

3. How does Ivan make his pain worse?

4. What explanation does Ivan come up with to explain why his past memories make him feel the way they do?

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

6. Describe Gerasim.

7. Describe how Ivan is torn in Chapter 9 and what affect this has on him?

8. Is the author's definition of the "good life" the same as that of Ivan and his wife? Support your answer.

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

10. What is the setting of Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain and support how "The Death of Ivan Ilych" can change a reader's ideas about how to live. Look at the theme of the novel to answer the question. How has Ivan lived? Does Tolstoy's writing endorse Ivan's way of life? Does the tone of Tolstoy's writing warn against the way Ivan has lived?

Essay Topic 2

Describe the form that foreshadowing takes in "The Death of Ivan Ilych." How is the foreshadowing accomplished? Is the foreshadowing subtle or obvious?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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