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Ivan Turgenev's Fathers And Sons Essay

1107 words - 5 pages

Ivan Turgenev is one of the greatest Russian writers of the nineteenth century. In his pieces, Turgenev shows deep concern for the tangible problems of Russia at that particular time, such as the evolution of peasants and intellectuals, the women question and the hierarchy of Russian population. In his masterpiece Fathers and Sons, Turgenev emphasizes the enormous difference between subsequent generations by describing their distinctive philosophical views and life ideologies.
The protagonists of the novel, Arkady and Bazarov, are two graduates who return to their homes wrapped up in new, inflexible philosophical views meant to give sense to their meanings and to bring enlightenment to the ...view middle of the document...

This can be noticed when Arcady tells Bazarov, after his argue with Pavel Petrovich, that “you have hurt his feelings, he deserves pity rather than ridicule.” Besides, the fact that Arkady wants his father to marry Fenitchka points out the falsity of his nihilism. While advocating nothingness, he still holds high the values of marriage, love, nature, family and art. Moreover, Bazarov always calls Arkady “my boy, you baby, what innocence,” emphasizing Arkady’s innocent, spiritual and somewhat foolish character. On the contrary, Arkady thinks of Bazarov as “one of the most remarkable disinterested, honest men” showing his fascination and devotion for the nihilist tutor. However, the author emphasizes the boys’ hypocrisy, especially Bazarov’s, when they both fall in love with the precious madam Odintsova. They abandon entirely their belief in nothing and give light to their inner feelings and natural emotions.
Besides the detailed portrayal of the protagonists, the author also describes the conflict between the two different generations. Thus, the young gentlemen do not give importance to the class hierarchy in comparison with their parents. Both Arkady and Bazarov think that all people are equal. In this way, Bazarov claims that “all people are like one another, in soul as in body; people are like trees in a forest” while Arkady shows his objectivity by telling his father that Fenitchka “has no need to be ashamed” of her social status. Nevertheless, the most important issue is the difference in the ideologies of the two generations. The young men think of their parents as almost primitive “provincial aristocrats” who still believe in the aesthetic and ideal side of the world, reading Pushkin and playing the violoncello. Bazarov thinks of Arkady’s father as being “behind the times, his day is done.” They want to educate their parents by inculcating them with the great views and books of the contemporary times like Buchner’s treatise. On the contrary, the older generation represented by Nikolai and Pavel Petrovitch, totally oppose to the increasing nonsense promoted by the young students. Nikolai thinks that they “are further from the truth” than he and his brother are. Besides, the brothers perceive the fact of renouncing to poetry, art and nature as inconsistent and irrational because these are sacred values of any society.
Unfortunately, this type of conflict persists even among today’s generations. Children tend to...

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