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 seeing himself in the mirror, what does Ivan Ilych finally admit to himself?

2. Who helps Ivan Ilych begin to realize that he is dying?

3. What is Ivan Ilych forced to do with his thoughts of death?

4. How many children does Ivan Ilych and his wife have together?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

6. In Chapter 11, what does Ivan reveal about himself when he was younger, and what happened to it?

7. How does Ivan make his pain worse?

8. What does Gerasim symbolize?

9. Describe how Ivan and others' initial response to his illness are classic examples of the denial stage of dying.

10. Identify the crisis for Ivan in Chapter 5.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

What role does religion play in Ivan's dying and death? Support your answer. Does Ivan welcome religion as a comfort while he is dying? Does Ivan scorn religion because he blames God for his death? Does Ivan go along with religious rituals to please his wife as he's gone along throughout his life doing things to please others?

Essay Topic 2

What point-of-view does Tolstoy use in writing "The Death of Ivan Ilych?" Why does this point-of-view better serve Tolstoy's purpose(s) for writing the novel? How does this point-of-view get Tolstoy's themes across? What tone comes from Tolstoy using this point-of-view?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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