Discussion Question

Your answers should address the following:

  • Answer all parts of the question thoroughly and accurately in at least two fully developed paragraphs for each topic. 
  • Provide detailed evidence in the form of quotations from the text. Follow APA guidelines for citing and referencing the text. 
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the time period, topic, or genre that is this week’s focus.

Society and Its Discontents

Through the character of Ivan Ilyich, Tolstoy offers a critique of affluent Russian society in the nineteenth century. Tolstoy describes Ivan’s life as the “most simple and most ordinary and therefore the most terrible.” What makes Ivan’s life terrible? What aspects of his contemporary society is Tolstoy trying to critique? You might also consider how the servant Gerasim is presented as an alternative approach to life.


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