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For your initial post, please respond to ONE of the following prompts with a critical analysis of at least two paragraphs. Follow the conventions of writing about fiction that I will post in “Pages.” Keep in mind that strong, good writing–unity, support, coherence, and error-free sentences–counts. Students can expected to be “graded down” for substandard writing. Your secondary post should be a fully developed critique of another student’s primary post–please model it on the posted example in “Pages.”Please avoid facile, overly simplistic conclusions! One point of this assignment is to exercise your deep critical thinking skills!1) What are the comic elements in the opening chapter, and how do they function?2) Tolstoy says, “Ivan Ilyich’s life had been most simple and commonplace—and most horrifying.” Write a short essay–with detailed support from the text itself–about how such a life is horrifying.3) Compare and contrast Gerasim’s treatment of Ivan Ilyich with that of Ivan Ilyich’s wife and daughter. What thematic point might Tolstoy be making in the contrast between these characters?4) How would you summarize and assess the attitudes of the following characters toward Ivan Ilyich’s sickness and dying: the doctors, Peter Ivanovich, and Ivan Ilyich’s wife and daughter?5) In the final four days of his life, what are Ivan Ilyich’s realizations? Are they static, or do they evolve?6) In Part VI, Ivan Ilyich recalls a syllogism from a logic text. As he considers the syllogism, he draws analogies to his own life. Discuss how and why this section of the book might be thematically significant.7) What does Tolstoy want us to know about our lives through our experiences with Ivan’s life? Be sure to support your answer with direct references to the text.


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