The Death of Ivan Ilych
by Leo Tolstoy
The Death of Ivan Ilych Isolation Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph). We used Alymer Maude's translation.
Latterly during the loneliness in which he found himself as he lay facing the back of the sofa, a loneliness in the midst of a populous town and surrounded by numerous acquaintances and relations but that yet could not have been more complete anywhere – either at the bottom of the sea or under the earth – during that terrible loneliness Ivan Ilych had lived only in memories of the past. Pictures of his past rose before him one after another. (10.6)
Real loneliness doesn't require physical isolation. Even though Ivan is surrounded by people, including family and friends, he has no connections to them. That reveals the artificial quality of all of the relationships Ivan has spent his life building. His only recourse at this point is to go deeper into himself and his past for comfort. Perhaps he does this because in his past, he did have genuine connections to his parents.