Ivan Turgenev | Biography & Facts | viajeras.info
Everything you ever wanted to know about the characters in Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev Fenichka has a fairly large role in the novel because of her relationship with Nikolai. He is essentially free, as Nikolai Petrovich tells Arkady early on, and he is identified as one of the "modern 'up-to-date' servants" ( ). Ivan Turgenev: Russian novelist whose major works include A Sportsman's Sketches (), Home of the Gentry (), and Fathers and Sons (). dates. September 3 · November 9. Ivan Turgenev, in full Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, His relation with Viardot usually has been considered platonic, yet some of his. When Fathers and Sons was first published in Russia, in , it was met with a blaze of controversy about where Turgenev stood in relation to his account.
Bazarov in particular finds falling in love distressing because it runs against his nihilist beliefs. Eventually, prompted by Odintsova's own cautious expressions of attraction to him, he announces that he loves her. She does not respond overtly to his declaration, though she too is deeply drawn to Bazarov while finding his dismissal of feelings and the aesthetic side of existence troublesome. While Anna does have some feelings toward Bazarov, they are not akin toward love and Anna cannot open herself to him because she does not see the possibility of a good future with him.
After his avowal of love, and her failure to make a similar declaration, Bazarov proceeds to his parents' home, and Arkady decides to accompany him.
At Bazarov's home, they are received enthusiastically by his parents, and the traditional mores of both father and mother, who adulate their son, are portrayed with a nostalgic, idealistic description of humble people and their fast-disappearing world of simple values and virtues. Bazarov's social cynicism, invariably on display with outsiders, is still quite clear as he settles back into his own family's ambiance.
Interrupting his father as he speaks to Arkady, he proves rather abrupt and still the powerful center of attention despite being around his parents.
Arkady, who has delighted Bazarov's father by assuring him that his son has a brilliant future in store, in turn reproves his friend for his brusqueness. Later, Bazarov almost comes to blows with Arkady after the latter makes a joke about fighting over Bazarov's cynicism. This once again shows the distance and changes within Arkady and Bazarov's relationship, as Arkady becomes more defiant against Bazarov's ideals.
After a brief stay, much to the parents' disappointment, they decide to return to Marino, stopping on the way to see Madame Odintsova, who receives them coolly.
They leave almost immediately and return to Arkady's home. Arkady remains for only a few days, and makes an excuse to leave in order to go to Nikolskoye again. Once there, he realizes he is not in love with Odintsova, but instead with her sister Katya.
Bazarov stays at Marino to do some scientific research, and tension between him and Pavel increases. Bazarov enjoys talking with Fenichka and playing with her child, and one day he kisses her, against her will. Pavel observes this kiss and, secretly in love with Fenichka himself and in protection of both Fenechka and Nikolay's feelings for her, challenges Bazarov to a duel.
Pavel is wounded in the leg, and Bazarov must leave Marino. He stops for an hour or so at Madame Odintsova's, then continues on to his parents' home. Meanwhile, Arkady and Katya have fallen in love and have become engaged. Anna Sergevna Odinstova is hesitant to accept Arkady's request to marry her sister, but Bazarov convinces her to allow the marriage. While back at home, Bazarov changes quite drastically. Instead of focusing on his experiments he turns to help his father in being a country doctor.
At home, Bazarov cannot keep his mind on his work and while performing an autopsy fails to take the proper precautions. He cuts himself and contracts blood poisoning. On his deathbed, he sends for Madame Odintsova, who arrives just in time to hear Bazarov tell her how beautiful she is. She kisses him on the forehead and leaves; Bazarov dies from his illness the following day.
Arkady marries Katya and takes over the management of his father's estate. His father marries Fenechka and is delighted to have Arkady home with him.
In this time of uneasiness, Turgenev chose to set his book. As Ripp notes, "it is the spring ofand the emancipation of the serfs, with all its uncertain consequences, is only two years ahead.Does Being Raised Without a Father Affect Men In Relationships?
Nikolai Petrovitch, a more liberal landowner, has already freed his serfs before he is required to, although he is wary about giving his former slaves any control in any major business affairs. Some, especially the older Russian nobility with much land to lose, decried the reforms, like Bazarov's mother.
She used to be a member of the landed gentry, but turned her land over to the care of her husband, a poor, retired army surgeon. She "used to groan, wave her handkerchief, and raise her eyebrows higher and higher with horror when her old husband began to discuss the impending government reforms.
As the narrator notes of the young governor's official sent to a provincial town, he "was a young man, and at once a progressive and a despot, as often happens with Russians.
The same was true about the behavior of the lower classes. When given any power at all, they abused it, as Nikolai's farm manager does: As Ripp notes, "In its efforts to please all factions, the Editing Committee produced an immensely complicated document. He drives around his district, giving long speeches that say the same thing over and over again, but as Turgenev's narrator notes, "to tell the truth, he does not give complete satisfaction either to the refined gentry … nor to the uncultivated gentry….
He is too soft-hearted for both sets. As Ripp notes, Turgenev is aware of all of this as he writes the book ina year after the act has been implemented: Under the leadership of Alexander II Russia embarks on a number of social reforms, including abolishing serfdom and improving communications, such as establishing more railroad lines.
Russia remains a poor and unstable country after the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of the twentieth century. In the wake of the brutal dictatorial regime that ruled "communist" Russia and other Soviet countries for much of the twentieth century, the plight of many Russians has worsened.
Like those in other countries, many of Russia's youth adhere to a scientific materialism philosophy, questioning everything with a strict rationalism and not letting any "irrational" behavior overcome them. In many civilized countries there is a resurgence in art, nature, and other humanistic pursuits, due in large part to humanity's increasing dependence upon technology. Although modern medicine is improving with the such developments as vaccines, the "germ theory" of disease, and improved sanitation in hospitals, doctors are largely powerless.
When cholera sweeps across Europe and Russia, many are killed. In most modernized countries, cholera and typhus, which are usually prevalent in poor, unsanitary areas, have been wiped out. Epidemic typhus persists in countries that experience famine, crowded living conditions, and other areas where sanitation is an issue.
Cholera, on the other hand, has been largely dormant, and has not seen a major outbreak for more than a decade. Critical Overview Inwhen Turgenev first gave the manuscript for Fathers and Sons to his editor Mikhail Nikiforovich Katkov, the Russkii vestnik Russian Her-ald editor was concerned about the potential backlash over the novel.
Katkov had reason to be concerned. As Edward Garnett notes in his Turgenev, "the stormy controversy that the novel immediately provoked was so bitter, deep, and lasting that the episode forms one of the most interesting chapters in literary history.
It was with this second group that Turgenev had found favor with through the publication of some of his earlier works in Sovremennik Contemporary. However, the same critics who had praised Turgenev's earlier works now offered harsh criticism for Fathers and Sons as they had for Turgenev's previous novel, Nakanune.
One of the most vocal critics from The Contemporary was M. Antonovich, who remarked that Bazarov "is not a man, but some horrible being, simply a devil or, to express oneself more poetically, a foul fiend.
Gertsen, notes that in the book, "gloomy, concentrated energy has spoken in this unfriendly attitude of the young generation to its mentors. Pisarev, another of the younger radicals, was the only critic from his political party who did not describe Bazarov as a "vicious caricature" of the radicals, as Leonard Schapiro notes in Turgenev: His Life and Times.
Instead, Pisarev writes to both radicals and liberals: Turgenev himself recounts what is now a famous anecdote from his life, when he returned to Petersburg in on the same day that young radicals—calling themselves "nihilists"—were setting fire to buildings: This problem was underscored by Turgenev's own conflicting views on the character. Although he stated in a March 30 letter to Fyodor Dostoyevsky that "during all the time of writing I have felt an involuntary attraction for him," he stated in a different letter on April 18 to A.
I don't know that myself, for I don't know if I love or hate him! Peter Henry notes that "it is a brilliant stroke of irony on Turgenev's part that Bazarov and Pavel Petrovich, so sharply contrasted in every way, are endowed with an essential identity as unsuccessful lovers. Even the minor characters are deftly sketched in. Poquette Poquette holds a bachelor's degree in English and specializes in writing about literature. In the following essay, Poquette discusses the many views of women in Turgenev's novel.
In Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, women play very important and influential roles in the plot. Anna Odintsov attracts Arkady and Bazarov, who are both trying to remain true to their nihilistic beliefs, which attempt to deny love—an irrational force.
This surrender to love shakes the very core of Bazarov's foundation. Eventually, he tries again at love, stealing a kiss from Fenitchka, which leads to the duel with Pavel. In the meantime, Katya wins over Arkady. Women are at the center of just about every major plot point in the book.
But what does Turgenev think about women in general? The author makes several contradictory statements—through his characters—about how women are viewed, but in the end, he indicates that women are a necessary force, and a saving and nurturing influence on men.
At the beginning of Fathers and Sons Turgenev introduces four men, all of whom are strong Russian males. Arkady comes home from school a graduate, and brings his friend Bazarov, a nihilist with very powerful views. Almost at once, this younger generation of men conflicts with the older generation—Arkady's father; Nikolai, a liberal landowner; and Arkady's uncle Pavel, a retired military officer.
Pavel does not like Bazarov from the start, calling him an "unkempt creature" after his first meeting with the younger man. This tension escalates when the younger men start expressing their radical views. Arkady informs his father and uncle that nihilists regard "everything from the critical point of view," and in the conversations between the two generations over the next fortnight, the young men criticize many of the institutions that the older generation holds dear.
Bazarov—backed by Arkady—denounces all irrational pursuits including art, claiming, "a good chemist is twenty times as useful as any poet. However, just as this struggle culminates in the silly and ineffectual duel between Bazarov and Pavel, the men's manly debates are also ultimately ineffectual. While these strong men argue about philosophy and art, they are being quietly conquered by women who, like Fenitchka, only seem meek and mild, as when Fenitchka brings in Pavel's cup of cocoa and "dropped her eyes" in the presence of the men.
In fact, through his male characters especially, Turgenev expresses many of the views of women that were prevalent at the time. One of the dominant views was that women were not very smart and could not hold their own against literate men.
As Bazarov notes to Arkady about his own mother, "If a woman can keep up half-an-hour's conversation, it's always a hopeful sign. When Kukshin learns that Bazarov is interested in chemistry, she thinks they have something in common: That is my passion.
I've even invented a new sort of composition myself. She's worth educating and developing. You might make something fine out of her.
Arkady remarks "what an exquisite woman" Anna is, while Bazarov says, somewhat condescendingly, "Yes … a female with brains.
Yes, and she's seen life too. Bazarov is afraid of Anna, both for the power she is beginning to hold over his heart and because he has very little power over her; he cannot manipulate her as he initially believes Katya can be manipulated. Hypocritically, Bazarov, who warms to the idea of manipulating women like Katya into an image that is pleasing to him, complains of the manipulative quality of women.
When Arkady previously asked his mentor, "Why are you unwilling to allow freethinking in women? Besides being looked at as inferior or manipulative, Turgenev's characters also view some women as independent. In fact, before he is rebuffed by Anna, Bazarov agreed to some extent with a woman's right to advance her circumstances. As Bazarov notes to Arkady just prior to meeting Anna and prior to being rattled by her: Women of the Intelligentsia in Nineteenth-century Russia, the nihilists in general were very supportive of women's rights, and "devoted considerable attention to women's problems.
She's never, I'm persuaded, heard of embryology, and in these days—what can be done without that? It's a pity she's not yet advanced enough. In fact, Nikolai, Arkady's father, fell in love with a smart woman: The two symbolic weddings at the end of the novel do more than heal the rift between Arkady and Nikolai; they also indicate Turgenev's true view about the appropriate role for women—powerful matriarchs.
At the end of the novel, Fenitchka, who was meek and mild in the beginning, is "different. As the narrator notes, "They live in the greatest harmony together, and will live perhaps to attain complete happiness … perhaps love.
In addition, Bazarov is also respectful toward the institution of marriage, something which he has never appreciated before. In his final conversation with Arkady, he is complementary about Katya's power: In the past, Bazarov would have viewed this power as dangerous, fearing that Katya might manipulate men in a bad way. However in the end, Bazarov, and indeed Turgenev, conclude that this manipulation is a good thing: David Lowe In the following excerpt, Lowe traces elements of both comedy and tragedy in Turgenev's novel.
Fet's letter is not extant, but we do have Turgenev's reply, and it reinforces the often expressed conviction that one ought not to pay too much attention to what writers have to say about their own works.
The other is contrast. No doubt there are few works in world literature that do not depend to some extent on parallels and contrasts for the building blocks that hold them together and give them coherence.
Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev
In Father and Sons, however, their significance is all-inclusive and extends to matters of composition, characterization, and thematics. In Father and Sons, a novel whose very title both links and contrasts the generations, form and content are one. As the examination proceeds it should become increasingly apparent that in Father and Sons thematics determine form.
As the first step in proving the validity of that contention, let us turn our attention to matters of composition and their relation to the novel's thematic concerns. One way to look at the novel's structure is as a series of trips: Arkady and Bazarov are thus examined and illuminated in a variety of environments.
At Marino Arkady is at home and Bazarov is the stranger. In town and at Nikolskoe, both Arkady and Bazarov are thrown into an unfamiliar environment, while at Bazarov's parents' estate Arkady is the stranger though, paradoxically, he is less an outsider there than is Bazarov. Parallelism and contrast are immediately evident in such a scheme: Bazarov is the newcomer in one milieu, Arkady in another.
But even within the series of trips we can establish cycles. Brazhe writes of two cycles of trips from Marino to Bazarov's home. Such a calculation takes into account only Bazarov's point of view. It would be more accurate to identify three cycles of trips. The interesting structural note here is that Arkady's and Bazarov's travels consistently dovetail with each other, even when the two protagonists are not together.
In the second cycle, Arkady goes to Nikolskoe on his own. In a later and parallel development, Bazarov arrives at Nikolskoe on his own. Finally, in the last cycle, Bazarov goes home alone, as does Arkady. Implicit in this view of the novel's structure is one of the novel's major themes: Imperfect as it may be, it represents the mainstream of humanity.
Children ultimately do go "home" again, and willingly or grudgingly, they are reconciled to the family hearth. At that point, as Joel Blair notes, "the lives of the fathers become patterns for understanding the lives of the children. Such an interpretation is particularly widespread, since it provides abundant opportunities to discuss the ideological battles of the s.
Thus, we can map out the structure of Fathers and Sons as a series of ideological duels between Bazarov and Pavel, the ideological duels then capped by a real duel in which politics and social issues are as much at stake as personalities. Doubling the ideological skirmishes is Bazarov's series of erotic clashes with Odintsova. All discussions of the structure of Fathers and Sons in terms of confrontations are ultimately spinoffs from Gippius' Formalist analysis of composition in Turgenev's novels.
Rarely are they acknowledged as such. Gippius' analysis is quite sophisticated, and there will be a need to return to it in some detail. It is nonetheless limited because, like most analyses of Fathers and Sons, it proceeds from the assumption that the novel is a tragedy and that Bazarov is the novel's only significant protagonist.
These assumptions lead critics to attempt to identify a single, all-embracing structural pattern in the novel, whether it be trips, confrontations, love stories, or whatever. But the assumption needs to be reexamined. Fathers and Sons is a novel wholly dependent upon parallels and contrasts for its composition, and its structure is dualistic: The first is that of tragedy, while the second is comedy. Since many will probably find controversial the notion that Fathers and Sons is in any way comedic, let us begin with this, the less obvious structural pattern in the novel.
In using the word comedy, what it intended is not comedy in the popular sense a funny play with a happy endingbut in the Aristotelian sense, specifically in its modern formulation by Northrop Frye.
Frye uses comedy as a term denoting a literary mode, as he calls it, not a genre. Thus, as defined by Frye, the term is equally applicable to drama and narrative prose. Basing his treatise on Aristotle's Poetics. Frye suggests that comedies deal with the integration of society.
The standard comedic formula involves a young couple—the technical hero and heroine—whose marriage is blocked by other members of the cast society. In realistic fiction employing the comedic mode, the hero and heroine tend to be dull but decent people, while the blocking characters are the truly interesting ones.
The blocking characters are normally, but not necessarily, parental figures. They are consumed by a single passion usually absurdly soand they are in control of the society into which the hero and heroine seek entrance. The blocking characters are likely to be impostors, as Frye calls them, people who lack self-knowledge.
Fathers and Sons: The Principle of Love in Turgenev’s Liberalism -
At the conclusion of comedy the blocking characters are either incorporated into or expelled from the society, as a result of which the hero and heroine are free to wed. Thus, comedies often conclude with a wedding and the birth of babies, and have a rural setting an escape to a simpler, less corrupt society. At the conclusion of comedy the audience feels that justice has triumphed, that the people who should have been united have been, and that everyone will live happily ever after in a freer, more flexible society.
This is a rather bald reduction of Frye's Aristotelian description of comedy, but it should be sufficient to demonstrate that in, Fathers and Sons we are dealing in part with the comedic mode. However, Turgeneve spins some fascinating variations around the age-old comedic pattern. Arkady is the technical hero about whom the comedic plot revolves. This is not to say that he is the novel's central hero. He is the technical hero of the comedic plot.
As in Roman comedy, we have not a single hero, but a pair of heroes. Instead of the typical pair of young heroes, however, Tur-genev gives us a father and son, both of whose marriages are blocked, as is a genuine reconciliation between father and son. The blocking characters are Pavel and Bazarov, and consistent with the traditions of fictional comedy, both of them are considerably more interesting than the technical heroes and heroines, and both of them are removed from the stage at the culmination of the comedic plot line.
Bazarov's negative influence on Arkady forestalls an accomodation between him and his father, and it temporarily blocks Arkady and Katya's marriage, largely because Bazarov's attitudes, which Arkady attempts in vain to adopt, prevent the latter from coming to terms with himself and his true nature.
In this connection, James Justus points out that "the battle is not just fathers against sons, but sons against themselves. Arkady, riding along in a carriage with his father, waxes lyrical, thus betraying his "unnihilistic" enthusiasm for the beauties of nature.
He abruptly breaks off in mid-sentence.
Bazarov is a blocker, and his status as an obstacle to reconciliation between father and son is emphasized in several of the novel's passages. Just after the scene in which Bazarov suggests that Arkady wean his father away from Pushkin by giving him more adult food for thought, i. What's to be done? Perhaps Bazarov is right; but I confess that one thing pains me: I was hoping just now to become close friends with Arkady; but it turns out that I have lagged behind, he has gone forward, and we cannot understand each other.
Furthermore, Arkady's distorted image of himself as a fire-breathing, militant disciple of Bazarov's impedes his progress toward the realization that his love is not for Odintsova, as he imagines, but for her sister Katya. It is Katya who articulates what the reader has sensed all along—Arkady has been under Bazarov's thumb. She goes on to inform Arkady that he has nothing in common with Bazarov. When Arkady protests, saying that he wants to be strong and energetic like his friend, Katya lectures him: Your friend does not wish for it, it's just there in him.
That Arkady's attempt to play the nihilist causes him to be untrue to himself is made explicit when Bazarov suggests that they go to town: In his soul he rejoiced at his friend's suggestion, but felt obliged to hide his feeling.