Essay: The Death of Ivan Illych and Snow country
The novel The Snow Country is a story of Shimamura who is returning to the snow country because he loves the beauty of the scenery in the country. The man is wealthy and of middle and he happens to be attracted to a little geisha by the name of Komako whom he had met earlier in another trip. They try to have a love affair that never materializes, as he seems to be detached from the realities of human existence.
In The Death of Ivan Illych, we meet judges in a court discussing about the case of Krasovski when Ivan’s best friend, Peter Ivanovich, telling them about the death of Ivan, cuts them short. Despite the fact that Ivan was a colleague of these men, they seem not to be touched by the news of his death. Even when Ivanovich goes to the home of Illych, he is unable to bow before the corpse but he notices that the face of the body has an expression of satisfaction.
In the two stories, the main theme is that of isolation as the different social classes are unable to connect. When the men learn about the death of Illych, what they are interested in most is the vacant position he has left behind. The people of the upper class are depicted as being very selfish in this story. Though Peter has known Illych since childhood, he views his death as a way of achieving his own interests. It is worthy noting that the attendance of the funeral is and paying condolence to the family is viewed as good manners but not as a way of paying the last respects to Illych. This is a clear show of that people are supposed to do what they should but not what they feel. When Illych’s wife Praskovya Fedorovna invites Peter to the drawing room one might think that it is for comfort, but in fact, she wants to know how she can reap maximum benefits from the government pension. Although Peter pretends that, he is touched by the death of Illych he is unable to bow before the latter’s body. The judges discuss the death of Illych briefly before they shift to distance of city regions showing how ignorant they are of the death.