Chapter 2 starts off saying that Ivan's life was the most simplest, the most ordinary, and the most awful. Why is a simple life awful?

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The emphasis on this amazing short story is on the kind of "fake" or ersatz lives that Ivan Ilyich and his contemporaries live. They are never able to face up to their superficial lives that really have no substance or meaning. It is this superficiality that Ivan Ilyich rages against and finds so hard to accept, refering to both the superficiality in himself and in others. Tolstoy paints a crushing inditement of anyone who lives life without actually living it, or being so focused on appearances that they...

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