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The Death of Ivan Ilych

The Death of Ivan Ilych

by Leo Tolstoy

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Quote #10

At that very moment Ivan Ilych fell through and caught sight of the light, and it was revealed to him that though his life had not been what it should have been, this could still be rectified. He asked himself, "What is the right thing?" and grew still, listening. Then he felt that someone was kissing his hand. He opened his eyes, looked at his son, and felt sorry for him. His wife came up to him and he glanced at her. She was gazing at him open-mouthed, with undried tears on her nose and cheek and a despairing look on her face. He felt sorry for her too. (12.7)

This is the transformative moment, when Ivan genuinely cares about his family for the first time. For the first time he's not focused on his suffering and how they make it worse, but on the suffering he causes them. It's clear that Vasya, Ivan's son, cares for him. But here's Praskovya Fedorovna crying too. Does she care for him? How does that jive with the way she comes across in the first chapter?

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