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The Death of Ivan Ilych

The Death of Ivan Ilych


by Leo Tolstoy

The Death of Ivan Ilych Lies and Deceit Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph). We used Alymer Maude's translation.

Quote #10

It occurred to him that what had appeared perfectly impossible before, namely that he had not spent his life as he should have done, might after all be true. It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false. And his professional duties and the whole arrangement of his life and of his family, and all his social and official interests, might all have been false. He tried to defend all those things to himself and suddenly felt the weakness of what he was defending. There was nothing to defend. (11.12)

Ivan now reaches the conclusion that perhaps all of his life was false. Not just his work life, but also, his family life, his friendships, and everything he pursued was false. What's more, he places the blame for this on others. Ivan's been misled by his own social surroundings into living a false life. Everyone else around him (except Gerasim) is part of the same false social world.

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