Tolstoy is interesting philosophically, and who does not love the existential questions raised in The Death of Ivan Illyich? In a masterful style of writing and storytelling, Tolstoy makes us imagine how mundane, everyday occurrences and seemingly meaningless, everyday objects secretly portend the possibilities and eventualities of being towards death. It also highlights without revealing anything how much mystery there is to who we are, to what we desire to become when our mortality is ignored. The differences that can be made if we reflect. But, self-conciousness and personal identity are not always conjoined. One does not require the other even if we would hope that they should. We become our own alienated Other, the peril of lost possibilities, different turns and takes. Do we end up not knowing the person we become?