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The Death of Ivan Ilych

The Death of Ivan Ilych

by Leo Tolstoy

Mortality Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #10

He sought his former accustomed fear of death and did not find it. "Where is it? What death?" There was no fear because there was no death.

In place of death there was light. (12.13-14)

Even though Ivan is just about to die, we are told that "there is no death." What could this mean? It doesn't just mean that Ivan's no longer afraid of death. It is because there is no death that Ivan is no longer afraid of death. Does he mean that he's no longer spiritually dead, because he's found meaning and happiness in his life? Does this mean that he's somehow aware that he'll keep on living in an afterlife, or at least has faith that he will? Perhaps the two of them together. His soul is alive – he's happy and fulfilled – as it has never been before, and its life is only just beginning.

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