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 does Ivan Ilych think of his marriage?

2. Where does Ivan try to work?

3. When does Ivan Ilych's pain worsen?

4. Why does Ivan Ilych try to replace thoughts of death?

5. How did Peter Ivanovich learn the fate of the main character?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain how Ivan can be said to be in the depression stage of dying in Chapter 10.

2. Examine the author's other main theme of this story.

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

4. In Chapter 2, how does Ivan see his life and why does he think this?

5. What is the setting of Chapter 1?

6. How is it possible that Ivan hasn't seen how thin and yellow he looks until his brother-in-law arrives?

7. How does Gerasim view death?

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

9. Why do you think Ivan has more difficulty avoiding the thought of his death at work?

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

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

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 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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