Mystery of Death on Literature Examples Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1830 Words
Date:  2022-04-14

Death is the completion of the life of a person or any other creature. "The Death of Ivan Illych" is a story by Leo Tolstoy, which involves the death of one Ivan Illych, a member of the Court of Justice. He died on 4th February 1882 after a weeks' time illness from an inveterate disease. The story mostly revolves around his family and his colleagues. The main characters in this story are Ivan Ilych, Gerasim, and Peter Ivanovich. Ivan lived his life by the directives of others rather than living his life according to his own reasoning. He embraced the theories of noble society, but he is attracted to those of higher class. He is obsessed by the high standards of modesty and starts to act like a real powerful person and decides to have a wife, buy a modern house and equips it with exclusive accessories because according to culture a person like him is supposed to have material prestige figure. At some point, Ivan gets ill of an incurable disease which gives him isolation and at the same time it reveals the real nature of life.

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Peter Ivanovich is the next character who is featured in the story and is the Ivan's closest friend and coworker. The narrator really describes Peter's opinions and actions .His relationship with people is light and self-interested. Despite him being Ivan's friend the entire life, Ivan's death did not really affect him actually his thoughts were based on how he would get the open position of Ivan in his career. Peter represents members of the society who sees human associations as contributory to the achievement of his end, kindhearted and loving dealings do not exist. A solid desire brands Peter to avoid the unfriendly. He unwillingly attends Ivan's funeral and is generally reluctant to confront the overlook of his own death.

Gerasim owns characteristics like the sense of joyful survival that is a sense of kindness and understanding of fellow people. He interacts with people in a genuine way because his association with people is of great importance. He has potential to halt loneliness and create meaningful ties. Gerasim appears to be the only character who is able to oppose death with composure and courage. He takes death as an unavoidable part of life and saw his duties as help to Ivan unlike Praskovya and Lisa because of their selfishness, only worsen Ivan's condition. Gerasim is at peace with himself, and the mutually confronting relationships give the joy to live and give him bravery to face death.

There are themes that have been portrayed in the story of The Right life. The author believes two types of human lives exist: the artificial life, which is signified by Praskovya, Ivan, and Peter while the second type of life is a realistic life, which is signified by Gerasim. Greed, selfishness, and trivial relationships mark the fake life. It is a trick that hides the correct meaning of life and makes one scared and lonely at the moment of death. The real life, on the other hand, is marked with pity and kindness. It nurtures commonly affirming human affairs that finish seclusion and allow for true social contact. It creates bonds and makes one ready to meet death.

The next theme outlined is Inner life vs. Outer life. It shows a conflict between the inside and outside, the divine life and the bodily life. Ivan Ilyich is purely bodily being, shows no spiritual life and lives for the advantage of his own flesh and interacts with other people so as to support his desires. As an effect of rejecting the spiritual, Ivan is not able to outdo the physical. He experiences severe pain, irresistible sorrow, and absolute fear. In the event of developing towards understanding, he gets the spiritual feelings replaced by the physical one, he changes and overcomes death and grief as he starts to experience joy. The author's message is vibrant: the duty of each individual is to identify the conflict of one's self and live so in such a way that when the physical life follows the spiritual one, considered as more important.

In another story, "Death Constant beyond Love" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the discussion revolves about Senator Sanchez who had a family of a wife and five children and had only six months and eleven days to live but kept this as a great secret from his family. In this story, the important suggestions are portrayed by individual's weakness when dealing with two of the most important stages of life. The story strains that in the aspect of love and death, a person either becomes alone and weak or helpless. It also discusses how bribery, political affairs, and scarceness played a part in the life of Senator Onesimo Sanchez. The Senator characteristic of the tainted official who receives payoffs occupies the emptiness in his life by falling in love with a village girl by the name Laura, but he dies before the lady fall in love with him. Death Constant Beyond Love does portray not only greed and affectations but also an effective illustration of how a man almost dying made use of fake abilities to admit death simply.

In Leo Tolstoy, "The Death of Ivan Illych" death is portrayed in various ways according to specific places. The death of Ivan Ilyich to his fellow colleagues was taken positively and because portrayed an opportunity for growth and prosperity. They thought of how he would be replaced and them earning an extra coin on top of what they were getting. Some even considered signing up their relatives for the vacancies that would be left after the changes. In the other hand, in the story of "Death Constant Beyond Love," death is portrayed as a symbol of loneliness since the victim Senator Onesimo Sanchez knows the specific time remaining towards his death. He even tries to fight the loneliness by finding a lover by the name Laura but all in vain because he dies without being loved back.

In the story of The Death of Ivan Ilyich, a lot of hypocrisy is portrayed which represents the reality of death. The close friend of Ivan, Peter pretended to be so good to him when he was alive, but after his demise, he is the one with the highest interest in taking his possessions including his position at workplace and properties. Unlike in the "Death Constant Beyond Love "where there is no hypocrisy, but power takes over. Thirst for power by Senator Onesimo makes him take bribes so as to benefit himself only considering that he was a dying man. Death also brings out the real friends and fake friends. For instance, when Ivan was very sick, Peter never knew his whereabouts, but Gerasim acted like his nurse and took great care of him.

Death really leaves sorrow in the family especially if the death was the head. This is expressed by Ivan's daughter, who had an unhappy, unwavering, and almost angry appearance, and his wife, who bore the screams of her husband for hours until the last moment. But in the "Death Constant Beyond Love," the situation of death brings about love and Senator starts seeing the value of life and even humbles himself and also gets a chance to love a teenager. This comes as a mode of consoling himself that despite him nearing death, he can still have joy in his life.

Another reality portrayed is that families that have been abandoned by their loved ones are really oppressed by close friends who pretend to be helping but actually are taking advantage of them. Like in the story of Ivan Ilyich, Peter is trying to give Ivan's wife advice about her late husband's pension payments, but in a real sense, he has malicious intentions, but luckily the widow has the full information about the pension payment. In the other story of Senator Onesomi we find him so kindhearted and talks politely to those he is ruling and where he can offer help he does like for that foreign woman who had six children and all she wanted was a donkey so that she could be able to transport water from the Hanged man's well.

In 'Death Constant Beyond Love 'death brings about humility. Senator's humility came after he was informed about his little time to death and so he decided to be good as seen in his street rallies and how he treated his followers but in Ivan's story, the greed of materialistic things is widely portrayed especially with Peter Ivanovich. Greed for self-interest only without caring about those affected by death.

When a simple life is usually considered a benefit, Ivan's life is simple in a mistaken way. He is conventional because his interests, ethics, and conduct are fully determined by the views and outlooks of his social seniors. His friends are based on societal standing, and his life is dreadful because of its life empty of true independence, of true personality. In his filing stage, he appreciated that life was not what it should have been and shows deep disappointment for his son and wife. This divine closeness came together with bodily closeness symbolized by touch, unhappy displays Ivan had established between himself and others. As he links the gap, his loneliness goes, and life gets a new meaning.

In "Death Constant Beyond Love," Senator's illusionary love made him include the coming of death as part of his dull life. Even in the face of death ,the Senator drew through with a reappointment and agreed on with his usual life .Sanchez was too controlled by his boring routine that even the last point in his life such as death really did not change his daily living and his objective to win the heart of Laura. This is an expression of someone who is extremely bored that even death became a part of a routine. This is simply because the senator had been long dead inside and this made him feel no need to change because death was catching up with him .Finally accepting the knowledge of death and just accepted for a last fling with Laura, is a terminating story showing rising of the part of Senator by him understanding that covered below his monotonous is his wish to have lived a meaning life. The story did not only served as a clear explanation to an unreal life of Senator Sanchez but also to the whole people as well that death is unavoidable.


In conclusion, death is a magnificent mystery. Every major faith, viewpoint, and divine train of thought has pursued to explain this mystery. It's a unit that revolves every human being uniting us under unavoidable mortality. Whether poor or rich, black or white, both meet the same at the end. Whether powerful or humble, all go the grave. This mystery is deep despite religious principles, systematic research and many philosophies, most people are confused than ever about it.

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