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The Death of Ivan Ilych

The Death of Ivan Ilych

by Leo Tolstoy

The Death of Ivan Ilych Characters

Meet the Cast


Ivan Ilych Golovin

It is hard not to feel compassion for Ivan Ilych. In his whole life, dying really is just about the only important or worthwhile thing he does. All the rest of his life seems to be petty and unhapp...

Praskovya Fedorovna Golovina

Praskovya Fedorovna is the wife of Ivan Ilych. From Ivan's point of view, she just might be the worst wife ever. She's moody, petty, artificial, and uncaring, and Ivan comes to hate her once her on...

Gerasim

Gerasim: Goodness PersonifiedGerasim is Goodness personified. In the desert of falseness and fakery that is Ivan Ilych's world, Gerasim is the lone oasis of genuine honesty and kindness. Besides yo...

Vasya

You might say Vasya's the odd one out in Ivan's family, because he actually seems to care about his father. He's Ivan's only living child besides Lisa. Vasya is a boy of about thirteen or fourteen...

Peter Ivanovich

Fair-weather FriendPeter Ivanovich is the kind of best friend you probably don't want to have. The narrator tells us that he's one of Ivan Ilych's two "nearest acquaintances" (together with Fedor V...

Lisa

Lisa, Ivan Ilych's daughter, is the first child he has with Praskovya Fedorovna and one of only two who survive. So far as we can tell, she's about twenty when Ivan dies. She's well educated (she w...

Schwartz

Schwartz is all fun and games, literally. Along with Peter Ivanovich, Schwartz is another colleague of Ivan's at the Court of Justice. Though it's never directly said that Schwartz is a friend of I...

Fedor Vasilievich

Fedor Vasilievich is a colleague of Ivan's at the Court of Justice and, along with Peter Ivanovich, he is Ivan's "nearest acquaintance" (1.19). This apparently isn't saying much for poor Ivan's cho...

Ivan Egorovich Shebek

Ivan Egorovich Shebek – usually just called "Shebek" – is yet another friend and colleague of Ivan's at the Court of Justice. It's in his office that Peter Ivanovich and Fedor Vasilievi...

Michael Danilovich

Michael Danilovich is Ivan's primary doctor. He comes to the house on a regular basis to make examinations and administer ineffective treatments. Like all the other doctors in the story (he's the o...

Fedor Petrovich

Though he might show up in the story more than some of the other characters, Fedor Petrovich (also called "Petrischev" in places) is noticeably unnoticeable. He's little more than an appendage to L...

Peter the Footman

Peter the footman is another one of Ivan's household servants. Once Ivan enters the serious stage of his illness, Peter becomes one of his caretakers. Unlike Gerasim, Peter seems false to Ivan.

The Celebrated Specialist

The celebrated specialist is called in one morning (about a month before Ivan's death) by Praskovya Fedorovna to examine Ivan and hold a consultation with Michael Danilovich, Ivan's regular doctor....

Sokolov

Sokolov is Ivan Ilych's butler. This means that Gerasim is Sokolov's assistant. Unlike Gerasim or Peter the footman, though, we barely see Sokolov at all. He only shows up in Chapter 1, at Ivan's s...

The Priest

We know nothing about the priest except that he is a priest. Praskovya Fedorovna sends for him three days before Ivan's death, so he can give Ivan the last rites – confession and communion. A...
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