Analyze death in "The Death of Ivan Ilych," "Hedda Gabler," and "Death and the King’s Horseman."
All three works approach death from different perspectives. The Death of Ivan Ilych highlights the reality of death as part of the human experience and the fears that incapacitate those who face it. The novel also suggests that death can be a catalyst for spiritual transformation. On the other hand, Hedda Gabler presents suicide as a noble action. The last piece, Death and the King's Horseman, views death/suicide as a form of atonement.
In The Death of Ivan Ilych, Ivan is devastated when he realizes that he is dying. He thinks it "impossible that all men have been doomed to suffer this awful horror." He tries to approach the idea of his death philosophically, but he fails miserably in his efforts. He takes to blaming God for deserting him and punishing him with a painful death.
Ivan's evolving attitude towards his impending death closely mirror Elisabeth Kübler Ross' Five Stages of Grief ; Ivan progresses from denial to anger to final acceptance of his fate. Hidden deep within Ivan is...
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