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 behave toward his illness?

2. Is Ivan Ilych in denial about his condition?

3. How much money does Ivan Ilych need to be paid?

4. What is the conflict in Chapter 5?

5. How satisfied with his life is Ivan Ilych?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. 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.

5. Why is Ivan so upset that he didn't get the promotion?

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

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

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

9. Ivan's realization about himself in Chapter 11prompts him to discover something about himself. What does he discover and how does it affect him?

10. How does Gerasim view death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Explain how Ivan goes through the five stages of dying. What emotions does he experience?

Essay Topic 3

Choose several passages of good description from "The Death of Ivan Ilych" and explain how the descriptions help the reader to experience the events in the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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