Realism in "The Death of Ivan Ilyich"

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Realism in "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" Realistic fiction is based all within the parameters of real-life probabilities. It is meant to be a portrayal of real people in real places, faced with real problems and dealing with real-life situations. Its primary goal is to establish a storyline and character to which most any reader can relate because both are based on people and things that can actually exist within our world. In order to obtain this goal, Realists believed that writers should be objective and avoid showing personal feelings. Realistic authors wanted to present ordinary characters, which like ordinary people in real life are affected by social parameters. In The Death of Ivan Ilyich, the reader gets a clear example of this as it seems that the protagonist of the story, Ivan, lives his life and makes all of his decisions only in accordance with what is socially acceptable. The first example of this is during Ivan’s schooling. Ivan finds himself not only accepting, but also indulging in acts he once found “horrid and made him feel disgusted with himself” (1428). However, once “he saw that such actions were done by people of good position and that they did not regard them as wrong”, he was able to disregard them, also (1428). Another example of social factors affecting the character’s actions would be in Ivan’s decision to marry his wife. While he does admit that his marriage to Praskovya Fedorovna “gave him personal satisfaction”, he is also forthcoming with the fact that his decision to marry her was also partly because “it was considered the right thing by the most highly placed of his associates” (1430). The goal of realism in literature to be an accurate and objective depiction of life can be clearly seen in The Death of Ivan Ilyich through Ivan’s illness and eventual death. One of the key characteristics of realistic fiction is to show

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