Husband Falls Ill, Wife Unsympathetic (THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH)

This is the kind of story where everything is told.

But after reading a paragraph or so, self thinks Tolstoy knows everything in the world, so it is okay for him to tell us readers everything.

The plot, such as it is, goes thus:

A bureacrat feels pain in his stomach, which he realizes a few weeks later seems connected to what he eats. The symptoms manifest at meal time, which means he becomes particularly nasty before a meal. His wife figures this out on her own as well. Tolstoy writes true to RL (Real Life): knowing the cause does not mean that Ilyich tries to correct this behavior, or that the wife is any more sympathetic to him.

His wife finally tells Ilyich see a doctor. The doctor does not tell Ilyich anything, but decides to run more tests:

Praskovya Fyodorovan’s external attitude to her husband’s illness, which she voiced to others and to him, was that Ivan Ilyich was to blame for the illness and that his whole illness was a new unpleasantnes he was causing his wife. Ivan Ilyich felt this came from her involuntarily, but that did not make it easier for him.

And there you have it, self’s first quote from Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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