tolstoy biography

   Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy lived between 1828 and 1910. He was a prolific Russian novelist and writer. Of his many accomplishments, one that seems to always stand out as being particularly in insightful regarding Tolstoy’s views on life and his ultimate quest for simplicity and directness is The Death of Ivan Ilych.

  Ivan Ilych was written in Tolstoy’s later years after his acceptance of Christianity. Some proclaim that the story actually represents a certain dichotomy that existed between Tolstoy's younger and elder years. Tolstoy, however, was in search of certain great truths even while he was young. While he became progressively more radical in his commitment to simplicity as he grew older... this was only a natural progression from his spiritual immaturity to his spiritual maturity.

  Tolstoy’s writings reflected his spiritual development. Although some would argue otherwise, it is indeed very clear that even his earlier writings reflected his quest for spiritual understanding. While he would renounce those writings in his later years because they had been completed before his spiritual awakening, they too showed his interest in simplicity and provide constructive guidance on his meaning of life. In contrast to his earlier writings, however, we have those of his later years to offer even more guidance as to the value which Tolstoy placed on life. In "The Death of Ivan Ilych," we find both Tolstoy as he was and Tolstoy as he sought to be...

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