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 is the setting of Chapter 1?

2. Why does Ivan Ilych's animosity toward his former colleagues vanish?

3. What does Ivan Ilych see as "doing his duty?"

4. When Peter Ivanovich encounters Ivan Ilych's daughter and fiance, how to they look?

5. What did Praskovya Fedorovna tell Peter Ivanovich about the main character?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Describe Ivan's appearance in Chapter 5.

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

10. What is Ivan's feeling of suffocation symbolize in Chapter 12?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why does Tolstoy choose to use the flashback technique in Chapter 1 when he begins the novel with the funeral? How does Tolstoy's use of this technique help to get the themes across?

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

Why would Tolstoy choose "The Death of Ivan Ilych" as the title if he writes about Ivan's life? Is Tolstoy writing about more than just Ivan's physical death in the novel? How so?

(see the answer keys)

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