'Maybe I did not live as I ought to have done,' it suddenly occurred to him. 'But how could that be, when I did everything properly?' he replied, and immediately dismissed from his mind this, the sole solution of all the riddles of life and death, as something quite impossible.

This crucial passage appears in Chapter IX and reveals as much about Ivan's moral quandary as it does about Tolstoy's values. The fact that Ivan questions the correctness of his past life reflects Ivan's growing awareness of the true meaning of life, yet his inability to dissociate "proper" behavior from "right" behavior prevents him from seeing the error of his ways. Ivan still thinks that he will find happiness by imitating the behavior of his social superiors. He is not yet aware of Tolstoy's reigning values: compassion and love, and their importance in living a happy and correct life. Tolstoy's belief that living rightly will provide answers to all the riddles of the world, furthermore, only reinforces the importance of his values.