The paper "The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy" is a good example of a book review on literature. Hypocrisy and deceit are a way of life among the people around Ivan. Worse yet, most people are aware of it but choose to ignore it. As Ivan grows becomes ill, the hypocrisy around him upsets him as much as his illness. Tolstoy portrays society as selfish and greedy people who do not care for real human relationships. He suggests that greed creates obstacles to proper living. Peter's crossing-bowing way upon entering the death-chamber depicts hypocrisy.
Praskovya invited Peter into her drawing-room. This was not for joint comfort. It was to find out how she could utilize her husband’ s pension. The knickknacks and furniture postulate obstacles to communication. Praskovyas shawl, snagged by the magnificent table edge, is as an attack on the worthless society life. Peter and Fedor were Ivan’ s friends, yet when they heard he is dead, their only concern was their own promotions (Tolstoy 18). Fedor did not bother to go to the Ivans service, and Peter only went from a sense of compulsion.
Schwartz is the most deceptive character. While Peter got quite affected by Ivans's death at the service, Schwartz is entirely unaffected. Ivans widow is also false. Together with Peter, they go through mourning activities. They do things because it is correct then because they feel any grief for Ivan. Doing what is appropriate makes them feel better for themselves (Tolstoy 29). Gerasim appears to be the only honest person in Ivan’ s world. He is the only one who sees that Ivan is dying and can reassure him. He understands that Ivan suffers from a fear of death and shows him compassion.
Gerasim is sincere because of he aware of his ultimate death in a manner no other person is. He knows that he will die, as Ivan is dying now (Tolstoy 33). Though Ivan's condition is discouraging, the doctor still is not open to him. The doctor does not tell Ivan that he is dying. Ivan recognizes this and relates the lying doctor with the common class. This got seen as an admission that his work life was false.
Ivan concludes that perhaps his work life, family life, friendships, and everything else was false.