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The Death of Ivan Ilych

The Death of Ivan Ilych


by Leo Tolstoy

Gerasim Timeline and Summary

  • We meet Gerasim at Ivan's funeral.
  • He gives Peter Ivanovich his coat and takes him to his carriage when he leaves to go to his bridge game.
  • Gerasim is introduced as the servant who helps Ivan carry out daily functions such as going to the bathroom.
  • On one particular day, Gerasim helps Ivan to the couch and is asked by Ivan to put his legs on his shoulders. He does so, and the two talk.
  • Ivan realizes Gerasim is the only person in his life who comforts him.
  • Gerasim starts spending time with Ivan and holding up his legs regularly.
  • The night Ivan's family goes to the theater, Gerasim is called in by Ivan to sit with him and support his legs.
  • Later that night, Gerasim is dismissed by Ivan when he regains his senses after an opium haze.
  • One night, four days before his death, while Gerasim is sleeping (and supporting Ivan's legs), Ivan looks at his face and realizes that his life probably has been a mistake.