The Pursuit Of Happiness In The Death Of Ivan Ilyich

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The Declaration of Independence states that each person has the right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". What does Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness mean? Life can be a moment to moment existence a person experiences. Life is viewed differently by each individual including their standards, morals, and values. Liberty is the right to freedom; which comes in many different forms. The Pursuit of Happiness is exactly as it states the pursuit of whatever makes you happy. Today, the phrase seems so simple. In the United States, finding life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not hard to achieve. However, Literature dating back to the 1800's wasn’t as easy to accomplish. In the story Tartuffe, Dorine exemplifies life,…show more content…
At the beginning of the story, Tolstoy refers to when Ivan was younger mentioning that Ivan never thought of himself as the marrying type, but married his wife because he thought it was the politically correct. Ivan constantly finds himself striving for a better life, finds freedom in his success, and validates his happiness by his possessions. Ivan truly believes his life is a worthy and fulfilling until he becomes ill. Ivan slow but steady death challenges him to look back on his past. Ivan has concluded " the consciousness that his life was poisoned, and he was poisoning the lives of others, and that this poison did not weaken but penetrated more and more deeply into his whole being"(760 Tolstoy). Ivan's life, along with his health has deteriorated right before his eyes. He begins feeling sorry for himself especially because no one else finds his illness alarming. However, week after week pass and his health is rapidly diminishing. First, Ivan no longer enjoys the life he established for himself and no longer has control over his liberation. Although Ivan loses everything, he seems to find comfort and relief in the presence of Gerasim. Gerasim is compassionate and understanding to Ivan's suffering due to his illness. " Ivan Ilyich would sometimes call Gerasim and get him to hold his legs on his shoulders, and he liked talking to him. Gerasim did it all easily,…show more content…
In Tartuffe, Dorine exemplifies the meaning of each for someone she loves. She helps Mariane understand life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is key to the enjoyment of life. Happiness is inside of all of us, sometimes you just need someone to help you find it. Dorine's boldness, willingness, and strength are the main reasons she understands life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Although she already possesses these values, she regains them while helping Mariane understand. Dorine is a perfect example of a strong woman who establishes the life she wants, liberty to do as she pleases, and happiness in helping others. On the other hand, in "The Death of Ivan Ilyich", Ivan is opposite to Dorine. Although he is deathly sick, he feels sorry for himself and doesn’t seem to care much to try to get better. Ivan is weak and uncertain of what he wants out of his life, so giving up seems to be the best option for him. Once he realizes that he isn't getting better he gives up on life and liberty. However, he does seem to find happiness in spending time with Gerasim and remembering his childhood. The hand dealt in life isn't always easy, enjoyable, or beautiful. Situations can be permanent or temporary, but the way you handle them makes all the difference. It is important the individual make a way for their own life, liberty, and

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