Thursday, September 18, 2008

Respice Finem

Latin for "Look to the End", this statement comes to prominent significance in "The Death of Ivan Ilych" in a literal statement and a figurative meaning. The statement appears on a medallion he attains in the story as an ornament to himself. This materialistic bent on a very important message is prophetic of Ivan's own neglect in his life. He fails to "look to the end" of his own life. His short-sightedness costs him his dignity and the comfort of others in the final days of his life. He missed the message the medallion was supposed to convey, and so lost the meaning of his life.


Nhart said...
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Nhart said...

Nice analysis: D and well written.
I agree with you, it was ironic that Ivan wore an important eternal truth most of his life as a decorative item and never actually understood or follow the inscribed advice. Had he paid attention and taken the advice to heart, his life indeed would have been quite different and more meaningful.

Woody said...

I think it was ironic how Ivan would wear the necklace but did not take advantage of wearing it. Toward the end of his life he did reflect and on his life and realized he had nothing.