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. Who says, "death will come to everyone as God's will?"

2. How does Ivan Ilych's wife behave toward his illness?

3. What is Praskovya Fedorovna's relationship to the main character?

4. Why does Ivan Ilych think that his case might not be so serious after all?

5. What causes Ivan Ilych much distress?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Ivan make his pain worse?

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

5. How does Ivan respond to not getting the promotion and why?

6. How does Ivan and his wife's idea of the "good life" extend into Chapter 4?

7. Discuss the irony in Ivan resenting his dying from something so trivial as falling off the step ladder.

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

9. Describe Gerasim.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Is Gerasim's being a peasant significant in the novel? Does it affect how he sees the world and how his character develops?

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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