Please choose one topic from the list of six.
Send the thesis statement before you start the paper.
Attached are the assignment sheet and the resourses could be useful
Please use at least of three additional sourses other than the original text of the book
1. How does Tolstoy explore the subject of death in â€œThree Deaths?â€ How might this exploration be connected to his exploration of the subject, both personally and artistically, over the course of his life? For this essay you will want to consider making use of Tolstoyâ€™s biography as well as at least three other works by Tolstoy on the subject of death. When it comes to the latter, â€œThe Death of Ivan Ilyichâ€ is a good place to start, but the introduction to our Penguin edition also provides another helpful examples of Tolstoyâ€™s lifelong concern with death.
2. Why is it that â€œThe Grand Inquisitorâ€ has managed to challenge and provoke readers for so many years after its inclusion in The Brothers Karamazov (1880)? Why is it this prose poem has taken on a life independent of the novel itself? To what ends? For this essay, you should consider at least three responses to the poem by other writers. You should also consider some of the critical literature on the scene as well. Does the scene undercut the novel? Is it a critique of Christianity, or a defense of it? Why or why not?
3. How does â€œThe Grand Inquisitorâ€ tackle such issues as belief and nonbelief, good and evil, salvation and damnation, temptation and resistance, freedom and confinement, kindness and cruelty? Many have described the poem as a parable, or a story, often simple on the surface, that seeks to teach a moral or spiritual lesson. If this story can be seen as a parable, what lessons could it be said to convey? Please note that you need not tackle all of these competing ideas; they are all included merely to give a sense of some of the poemâ€™s dimensions. When it comes to seeing the poem in terms of its contrasting, competing themes, think of the discussion between Ivan and Alyosha that follows it. How does their interpretations affect our interpretations? To what ends?
4. How does Tolstoy compare and contrast the authentic life with the artificial life in â€œThe Death of Ivan Ilyich?â€ How is the artificial life typified? How is it connected to deception; about all things, including death? What roles do such virtues as pity and compassion play in the authentic life? What kinds of human relationships are made possible by those who live the authentic life? How might Gerasim be seen to typify this life? What effect does his authenticity have on Ivan? To what ends? One way to tackle this may be to look at the class element, i.e. at the fact that Ivan and his family are members of the bourgeoisie while Gerasim is a peasant. Another way to tackle this question might be to explore how the story manages to grapple with the conflicts between the inner and outer life.
5. What is the nature of death in â€œThe Death of Ivan Ilyich?â€ How is it presented as something utterly inevitable and unavoidable? How has Ivanâ€™s life, and the lives of those around him, made him blind to the reality of death. To what ends? How does the reality of death affect Ivan himself? How does it affect his relationships with others? How does it affect their relationship with him? What lessons about life can be learned by confronting death? What lessons does Ivan learn? What happens when one avoids death? What happens when one confronts it?
6. What is the effect of the title, â€œThe Death of Ivan Ilyich?â€ How does the title not tell the whole story? What is the story, despite the title, actually most interested in? To what ends? What role then does irony play in the story, both in terms of Tolstoyâ€™s presentation of his subject and in the lives of his characters? For example, how do the reversals play out within the story? How is this a story about rebirth as much as death? Is it ultimately a story of success or failure? To what ends?