Study Guide

The Celebrated Specialist in The Death of Ivan Ilych

By Leo Tolstoy

The Celebrated Specialist

The celebrated specialist is called in one morning (about a month before Ivan's death) by Praskovya Fedorovna to examine Ivan and hold a consultation with Michael Danilovich, Ivan's regular doctor. Just like all the other doctors, he spews unhelpful but complicated things about Ivan's kidneys and appendix. It's unclear if he actually reaches any new conclusion, but whatever he gives to Ivan to get better, it doesn't work. He does tell Ivan that he still has a chance of getting better, an assessment that provides Ivan with a short-lived hope that he might live after all.

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