Ivan Hansey Personal Response

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2nd Response to DuWayne Phinisey
I agree that Ivan has an awakening regarding his life. “The awful, terrible act of his dying was, he could see, reduced by those about him to the level of a casual, unpleasant, and almost indecorous incident (as if someone entered a drawing room defusing an unpleasant odour) and this was done by that very decorum which he had served all his life long. He saw that no one felt for him, because no one even wished to grasp his position. Only Gerasim recognized it and pitied him. And so Ivan Ilych felt at ease only with him (VII, 39-41). Ivan understands that he is dying and feels that it is a “terrible act” and what is even more terrible is that he notices his friends, family, and acquaintances also knows that …show more content…

"What is it you want?" was the first clear conception capable of expression in words, that he heard. "What do you want? What do you want?" he repeated to himself” (IX, 16). Ivan wants to live and have a life without pain. "What do I want? To live and not to suffer," he answered” (IX, 17). He continues to question himself about how he wishes to live. “"As you lived before, well and pleasantly?" the voice repeated. And in imagination he began to recall the best moments of his pleasant life. But strange to say none of those best moments of his pleasant life now seemed at all what they had then seemed—none of them except the first recollections of childhood. There, in childhood, there had been something really pleasant with which it would be possible to live if it could return. But the child who had experienced that happiness existed no longer, it was like a reminiscence of somebody else” (IX, 19-22). He realizes that the happiest times in his life are from his childhood and that the child he once no longer exists. The more he thought about his life the more he realizes that he did not have a joyous life. “As soon as the period began which had produced the present Ivan Ilych, all that had then seemed joys now melted before his sight and turned into something trivial and often nasty. And the further he departed from childhood and the nearer he came to the present the more worthless and doubtful were the joys” …show more content…

“This began with the School of Law. A little that was really good was still found there—there was light-heartedness, friendship, and hope. But in the upper classes there had already been fewer of such good moments” (IX, 24-25). He sees that the few good memories from Law School did not involve the upper classes; that he once thought of as elite and superior. He recalls his first year in his “official career” and yet again only view moments of happiness. “Then during the first years of his official career, when he was in the service of the governor, some pleasant moments again occurred: they were the memories of love for a woman. Then all became confused and there was still less of what was good; later on again there was still less that was good, and the further he went the less there was” (IX, 25-26). The more he tries to recall good memories of love and joy in his life, the more he realizes he did not have a lot of them, and he realizes that these are the things in life that truly matters the most. Ivan now understands what life is truly about: "It is as if I had been going downhill while I imagined I was going up. And that is really what it was. I was going up in public opinion, but to the same extent life was ebbing away from me. And now it is all done and there is only death” (IX, 27-28). Poor Ivan, finally realizes on his death bed that in the end all that really matters in life, is

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