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. Is Ivan Ilych successful in understanding this?

2. What did Peter Ivanovich realize as he was speaking to Praskovya Fedorovna?

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

4. What does Ivan Ilych's son's face look like?

5. What has Ivan Ilych used as an escape from reality?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Ivan experience only temporary relief when his family leaves in Chapter 8?

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

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

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

5. What is the climax, or turning point, in "The Death of Ivan Ilych?"

6. What does Ivan discover about his method of coping in Chapter 6?

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

8. What is the setting of Chapter 1?

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

10. Describe Ivan's realization in Chapter 9.

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

Is there a reason Tolstoy does not give a name to Ivan's disease? How does the unnamed disease relate to the central themes? Why would Tolstoy not name the disease that kills Ivan?

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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