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. After offering his condolences, what does Peter Ivanovich tell Praskovya Fedorovna?

2. What does Ivan Ilych hear down the hall?

3. Why is it ironic that Ivan resents that his death is trivial?

4. Where does Ivan try to work?

5. How does Ivan Ilych respond when confronted with the symptoms of his illness?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why do Ivan's memories of the past make him feel the way they do?

3. Describe how Ivan's condition is affecting him in Chapter 7.

4. How does Gerasim view death?

5. How does the author see Ivan's life and why?

6. How does the doctor's professional air parallel Ivan's attitude at work?

7. When does Ivan's suffering begin to subside?

8. How does making choices based on convention affect Ivan?

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

10. How does Ivan and his wife's idea of the "good life" extend into Chapter 4?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast Ivan and Gerasim. What is the relationship and/or purpose of these two characters, specifically, in this novel?

Essay Topic 2

What is the discontinuity between how character's act and what they feel throughout the novel? Why is how they act different than how they feel?

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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