Wednesday, 16 March 2011

First impressions of the death of Ivan Ilych

It took a long time but I have finally read the book, despite the spelling mistakes and words that I am pretty sure don't really exist.

I can see the idea of reality vs. artificial life mentioned in our previous group meeting. Ivan is obsessed with his own pain and mortality and, towards the end of his suffering, realises that the artificial life he constructed for himself has no bearing on what will now happen to him. He spent his life striving for success and money from his career, trying to make his home look like that of someone successful, trying to keep his family in check while trying to spend as little time with them as he could. This could be shown, in terms of the set build, by the decor in the bedroom. The perfect, artificial home he constructed could be conveyed effectively. The dressing room would then need to represent Ivan's obsession with his pain and with death. The decor would have to remain the same, but the suggestion of something dark and consuming would have to be included. It was suggested in the group meeting that the pain could be represented as a shadow behind screens. I think this would be effective and in keeping with the psychological thriller genre, as this relies on suggestion, rather than actually showing what is causing fear.

And those are my initial thoughts on the book and how it will influence our set...more to follow shortly!

1 comment:

  1. Some key points have been touched on here - the contrast between the artificiality of his life and the reflection of this in the decor; and the suggestions of something painful, dark and consuming - the suggestion of a shadow behind screens is intriguing and exciting.