The Viewpoint Of Death

The Fatality of Ivan Ilych, by Leo Tolstoy offers a literary portrait of your life and death. This exercise aims to analyse denial and the inevitability of loss of life, both its so this means and framework, in 'The Fatality of Ivan Ilych', using the school of thought of Martin Heidegger in 'Being and Time'.

The Fatality of Ivan Ilych

In the analysis of books, 'The Loss of life of Ivan Ilych' is generally regarded as one of the most important works on fatality and dying. The storyline is a vintage review of how acceptance of mortality can transform how individuals plan not only life, but also death. Structurally, 'The Loss of life of Ivan Ilych' is a simple text. It begins using what would be the end of the story, Ivan's funeral, and then documents his life from childhood to his health issues. In this manner, Tolstoy suggests that Ivan Ilych is not really alive until he confronts the deterioration of his being.

"Ivan Ilych's life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most bad" (Tolstoy, 235). The chronicle of Ivan's life starts with this collection. Ivan Ilych consumed his life by just playing a role, formality and propriety were vital to him, way more than any type of human emotion. Offering as a judge, he had a profession with impact and standing, and a respectable middle-class family. Then, a strange health problems befalls him, one which no amount of skilled doctors can accurately diagnose. Whilst all are in arrangement that his condition is terminal, they defer from revealing to him and demand that the treatments will one day have him back on his toes. Ivan Ilych is finally reduced to lying down on a sofa, eased only by opium and the goodness of his servant, Gerasim, who says, "It's God's will. We shall all come to it some day" (Tolstoy, 235).

The novel practices the span of Ivan's sluggish deterioration and his lack of ability to deal with the inevitable methodology of fatality. He tries for years to look from it, to cover, but he cannot. Ironically, as he starts to sense the looming spectre of fatality, Ivan questions the dismantling of his comfortable life and the rightness of how he resided. Ivan magic, "Why must I die and perish in agony? There exists something wrong! Maybe I did so not live when i ought to did" (Tolstoy, 273). In the midst of his desperate screaming, two time before his loss of life, Ivan seems the tears of his kid on his hands. After a few months dwelling on his own torment, he feels pity for his boy and asks for forgiveness. It really is at this moment that he is released from the mental anguish that has engulfed him, and "instead of death, there is light" (Tolstoy, 279).

Heidegger and the Inevitability of Death

"Among nowadays one will pass away too, in the end; but right now they have nothing to do with us" (Heidegger: 297).

Death can be an inevitable event. Someday, we will all expire and ultimately confront the inescapable certainty of our own mortality. German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, provides new meanings to our understanding of fatality in 'Being and Time'. Heidegger argues that by confronting the inevitability of death, we adjust our perspectives and adjust our procedure towards life. We become beings-toward-death who can re-examine life and adopt the world.

The discourse in 'Being and Time' will depend on understanding the use of the term, "Dasein", commonly translated as 'lifetime' or even more virtually as 'being there', it could be said that Dasein is an individual human being. As Dasein, our company is each an existing entity and also have the ability to consider how exactly we shall be in the world. By Heidegger's analysis of being-towards-death, Dasein comprehends what it means to exist.

Heidegger suggests that alternatively than facing the truth of death, Dasein may flee from it, back into the absorption of day-to-day life. By jogging away from the reality and the finitude in our existence, we may collapse into a state of stress and anxiety and bring forth anguish in Dasein's being; we might despair when met with the actuality of our own death. Relating to Heidegger, "angst" allows us to have an understanding of our eventual demise and expectation when confronted with loss of life makes an genuine life possible. When we choose to simply accept the inescapable, we realise the possibilities of life and we discover a truth; we will get interpretation - at least for ourselves. By breaking the illusions of death, we can overcome life. This is actually the difference between living real and inauthentic lives.

While we can not know what death itself will be like, we can look ahead towards our dying. By acknowledging that one is constantly moving towards loss of life and understanding that mortality is fundamental to who we are, Heidegger claims something traditional is uncovered, a moment that will truly be one's own. Through this information, Heidegger shows that death is an individual event in that it is something that every person must go through. Nobody can pass away my death - It is unique to each one of us. To each it is given and can't be denied.

A Heideggerian Approach to Ivan Ilych

In 'Being and Time', Heidegger employs Tolstoy's storyline in his own analysis of death. He says in a footnote, "In his report 'The Loss of life of Ivan Ilyitch' Leo Tolstoi has presented the phenomenon of the disruption and break down of having someone die" (Heidegger: 495).

Early in the novel, Ivan's loss of life is presented as an inconvenience and a burden. His wife's attitude to his faltering condition is the fact that "it was his own problem and was another of the annoyances he brought on her" (Tolstoy, 254). This parallels Heidegger's thoughts on the everyday romance with death, "Indeed the dying of Others sometimes appears often enough as public inconvenience, if not even a downright tactlessness, against that your public is usually to be guarded" (Heidegger, 298). In the story, death is seen as a "social inconvenience", disrupting everyday living.

From Heidegger's perspective, the story of Ivan Ilych demonstrates an instance of a person that lives an inauthentic living. Ivan Ilych, his partner and family, and even the doctors have all missed the point that death is for certain; one cannot break free the inevitability of death. It really is perhaps only Gerasim, a simple peasant, who is able to maintain an authentic and reflective position towards loss of life. Gerasim is not enthusiastic about upholding the trivial communal concerns that everyone else seems to - he recognises that death is a reality. Half way through the story Ivan remarks, "Gerasim by themselves did not lie; everything confirmed that he by themselves understood the reality of the case and did not consider it essential to disguise them" (Tolstoy, 264). From a Heideggerian point of view, Gerasim alone exhibits a compassionate and meaningful existence in the story.

As Ivan's condition slowly deteriorates, "it" (the pain, the spectre of fatality) becomes something that he can't ignore, although he is still being informed that he will restore. At a certain point, however, he starts to ask, "Why deceive myself?" (Tolstoy, 257) When Ivan's brother-in-law trips before New Year's, he's so disturbed by his condition that he's unable to be in his presence. He says to Ivan's wife "Why, he's a dead man! Check out his sight - there's no light in them" (Tolstoy, 256), though she denies this change. For her, he is merely sick; he'll get better as time passes. Heidegger lets us understand this when he says, "This evasive concealment when confronted with fatality dominates everydayness so stubbornly that, in Being with each other, the 'neighbours' often still keep talking the 'dying person' in to the belief that he'll escape death and soon go back to the tranquillized everydayness of the world of his matter" (Heidegger, 297). Though Ivan's family appear to be looking to comfort him, really they are just denying what Ivan has now realised - he will soon face his own death.

When Ivan truly realises that his condition is incurable, he reflects on a presentation of death he had learnt from Kiezewetter's Logic, "'Caius is a man, men are mortal, therefore Caius is mortal', had always appeared to him appropriate as put on Caius, but definitely not as put on himself. That Caius - man in the abstract - was mortal, was flawlessly correct, but he was not Caius, not an abstract man, but a creature quite quite distinct from all others" (Tolstoy, 259). This assessment to Gaius Julius Caesar shows that Ivan's frame of mind towards loss of life is severely misunderstood. For Heidegger, this statement would appear to imply Ivan Ilych dropped in to the inauthentic way of life, unable to face his death with popularity and bravery, preferring instead to be coddled and pitied.


'The Fatality of Ivan Ilych' is generally a meditation on the nature of loss of life. For Heidegger, death brings our lives into focus. Referencing Leo Tolstoy's 'The Death of Ivan Ilych' as an example, Heidegger argues that a lot of people go through life in avoidance of the truth - the opportunity to get rid of all choices - one's loss of life. Heidegger is assured that by anticipating fatality, we can ensure an real way of being.

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