Fathers and Sons
How we cite our quotes:
"I ought to tell you, I... worship my son! I won't even speak of my good wife – we all know what mothers are! – but I dare not show my feelings in front of him, because he doesn't like it. He is against every kind of demonstration of feeling; many people even find fault with him for such strength of character, and take it for a sign of arrogance or lack of sensibility; but men like him ought not to be judged by any ordinary standards, ought they? For example, others in his place would have been a constant drag on their parents; but he – would you believe it? – from the day he was born he has never taken a penny more than he could help, that is God's truth!" (21.19)
Vassily Ivanych makes it clear that he often gives Bazarov the benefit of the doubt since he considers him such a great man. Do you think this is justified? To what extent does it seem that Bazarov's conceit is a result of the way his parents cater to his every whim? Are there people who are simply great enough that they deserve to be held by different standards?
"And I not only worship him, Arkady Nikolayevich, I am proud of him, and the height of my ambition is that some day the following lines will appear in his biography: 'The son of an ordinary army-doctor, who was able, however, to recognize his talents early in life and spared no pains for his education...'" (21.21)
Do you think that there is any self-pride in Vassily Ivanych's estimation of Bazarov? Does his aspiration seem noble to you? Does it seem any different than the way any parent worships their child?
"No, my dear brother, enough of worrying about appearances and what people think: we are quiet, elderly folk now; it's high time we laid aside the vanity of the world." (24.181)
Why do you think Pavel picks this moment to lay aside "the vanity of the world"? Hint: he has a bullet hole in his thigh that may or may not be linked with his vanity and pride. Is he really done worrying about other people think? When was he more concerned? As people grow older do they really stop worrying about what other people think or do they just realize how little they can control it?