Describe the character of Ivan in the tale "Ivan the Fool."    

Ivan the Fool is not the most intelligent of men. However, that's not important, because he's a simple, hardworking peasant who takes care of his family. A good man and a loyal family member, what Ivan lacks in smarts and sophistication, he more than makes up for in fundamental decency.

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By the time he came to write "Ivan the Fool," Tolstoy had come to view Russian peasants as constituting the soul of the nation. In his rather romantic conception of the vast majority of Russians, Tolstoy believed that the peasantry was the living embodiment of wisdom and good morals, displaying as they did a communitarian ethos that prioritized the village over the individual.

All of the qualities that Tolstoy prized in the Russian peasant are displayed by the eponymous Ivan. Although, as his name suggests, he's not the brightest tool in the shed, he nonetheless has a strong instinctual feel for what's right and wrong.

He may not know much about the world beyond his village, a world that it becoming increasingly materialistic, but what he lacks in a sophisticated understanding of the wider world, he more than makes up for in knowing what really matters in life.

Unlike so many of those who dwell in the cities, Ivan has a firm set of moral values that stand him in good stead, providing him with moral guidance in his life. One of those values is hard work, which Ivan displays every day of his life in running the family farm.

Another one is kindness, which Ivan shows by taking good care of his family. A loyal family man with a strong sense of responsibility to his kith and kin, Ivan bestows happiness on those who mean the most to him.

He may be a fool in that he doesn't understand the ways of the world outside his village, but he's a truly wise man in that he knows what's truly important in life and acts upon it.

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