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Word Count: 574
The Death of Ivan Ilych is Leo Tolstoys assertion of mans attitude and position in life In an attempt to teach society the fallacy of propriety conforming to society he created this melancholy tale of the life and death of Ivan Ilych A man whose main goal in life is to attain and maintain the lifestyle of an aristocrat The end result of Ivans perfect life of propriety is ironically depicted in the tumultuous course of his death Only in death does he realize the error of making deliberate decisions concerning his career family and lifestyle for the sake of social standing Ivan Ilych enjoyed a prestigious and challenging career with the civil service Early in his career he was mostly concerned with performing his duties rightly and fulfilling the expectations of his employer However living beyond his means causes him to shift his focus toward money When most would do anything to support their family Ivan was very particular as to what he thought would be proper and lucrative All he now wanted was an appointment to another post with a salary of five thousand rubles either in administration in the banks with the railwaysbut it had to carry with it a salary of five thousand rubles 528 par 89 In trying to keep up with and impress his peers Ivan put his family at risk When Ivan married it was a decision made based upon the attitude of his associates The marriage was felt to be correct and to a girl who was thought to be of good breeding Marriage became a way to form the public opinion of approval he so diligently sought His wife marrying for love did not agree with Ivan devoting his time to the pleasantries of his pre-marital life Actually the only characteristics Ivan and his wife share is their want for the finer things in life in order to gain the respect and envy of their peers
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