Fathers and Sons
Fathers and Sons
by Ivan Turgenev
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Fathers and Sons Chapter 19 Summary

  • As confident as she normally is, Madame Odintsov is ill at ease when she comes to dinner. Fortunately, the neighbor, Porfiry Platonych, comes and he speaks incessantly.
  • Arkady speaks to Katya and tries to be polite to the Princess. Madame Odintsov looks in Bazarov's direction several times, but finds that he looks stern and forbidding.
  • After dinner, everyone is walking in the garden and Bazarov gestures for her to come to the side. He thinks that she is very angry with him and tells her that he must be going tomorrow.
  • He tells her that the only way he could stay is if she loved him as he loves her. When she sees his intense look, she thinks that she is afraid of this man.
  • For the rest of the afternoon, Anna Sergeyevna keeps Katya by her side and tries to disguise how upset she is. Bazarov locks himself in his room. She wants to comfort him but doesn't know how.
  • The only thing that interrupts the situation is the unexpected arrival of Victor Sitnikov. It is very rude of Sitnikov to come uninvited. At first, he stumbles when trying to explain himself to Anna Sergeyevna. He begins making excuses for why he is there, but gradually gains confidence.
  • With his arrival, things become simpler and easier. People almost enjoy dinner and then retire to bed early.
  • When Arkady and Bazarov are alone in their room, Arkady asks why Bazarov is so melancholy.
  • Bazarov announces that he is off to his father's room tomorrow. When Arkady again asks why Bazarov is depressed, he says, "Too much knowledge, and your hair will go grey" (19.20).
  • Arkady asks if Anna Sergeyevna will let Bazarov go, and Bazarov says it's not her decision.
  • After a pause, Arkady announces that he will also leave tomorrow except that he will go home.
  • Bazarov shows no interest in why Arkady would also leave. Arkady thinks to himself that he would like to stay but that it would not make sense after Bazarov departs.
  • He whispers into his pillow that he will miss Katya. Then he says, "What the devil made that idiotic Sitnikov turn up here?" (19.34).
  • Bazarov, staring at the ceiling, says that the Sitnikovs of the world are necessary. He says, "I need such louts. It is not for the gods to have to bake bricks!" (19.36).
  • Arkady looks at Bazarov and "only then in a flash did all the fathomless depths of Bazarov's conceit dawn upon him" (19.37). He asks if he is merely one of the louts and Bazarov confirms that he is just a fool.
  • The next day, Katya looks serious when Arkady announces that he will leave. The Princess crosses herself in thanks in front of all the others.
  • Sitnikov, for his part, is just coming down for breakfast. He isn't sure what to do since he is being abandoned by his friends, and announces that he too will leave.
  • Sitnikov offers Arkady a ride home in his carriage. Arkady tries to side-step the offer, but Anna Sergeyevna murmurs "Don't wound Monsieur Sitnikov by refusing" (19.46).
  • When they say goodbye, Madame Odintsov asks Bazarov if they will see one another again. He says only if she wishes it, and she says that means that they shall.
  • While the carriages are being prepared, Arkady goes up to Bazarov and asks to go to his place. Bazarov growls assent.
  • Sitnikov is taken aback at Arkady's rudeness but there is nothing he can do. He yells at two passing peasants to blow off steam and the next day, at Madame Kukshin's, he will speak of "nasty, stuck-up, ignorant fellows" (19.53).
  • Arkady presses Bazarov's hand in consolation for whatever is bothering him, and Bazarov seems to appreciate it.
  • Bazarov asks for a cigar, but then thinks that he can't handle it. He flings it onto the road.
  • Arkady asks how long it is to Bazarov's, but the driver, Fiodr, tells him that miles don't get measured out in these parts.
  • Bazarov says that their experience at Madame Odintsov's must be a lesson to them. He says, "We've both of us behaved like fools. What's the use of talking about it! But I noticed when I was working in hospital – the patient who's furious at his illness is sure to get over it" (19.65).
  • Arkady doesn't know what he is talking about.
  • Bazarov explains that they got too comfortable in the society of women, that it was time for a break.
  • He asks the driver if he has a wife, and the driver says yes. He asks if he beats her, and the driver says only when she deserves it.
  • Bazarov continues by asking if the driver's wife ever beats him. The driver is offended.
  • He says that's the lesson, that they have taken "a proper beating" (19.74). Arkady forces a laugh, and neither one of them talk for the rest of the journey.
  • As they approach Bazarov's home, they hear two peasants swearing at one another. Bazarov warns Arkady that his father's peasants are not too worn down. Then he sees his father, and he thinks "How grey he's grown, poor old chap!" (19.77).

Next Page: Chapter 20
Previous Page: Chapter 18

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