Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #4

On the way home they generally got into an argument in which Arkady was usually worsted, although he was more eloquent than his companion. (10.2)

If Arkady is more eloquent than Bazarov, why do you think it is that he is generally "worsted"? Does it have something to do with Bazarov's cleverness? Is there a difference between being smart and being clever? If so, what is it?

Quote #5

"A penny candle, you know, set Moscow on fire." (10.107)

If we approach Bazarov's quip logically then we begin by asking what is different about the nihilists and the penny candle. Clearly, there is a huge difference. Yet perhaps the quip is only meant to contain a grain of truth. Is there any way for Bazarov to defend his position aside from cleverness? Why does he so often fall back on such clever little retorts?

Quote #6

She spoke and moved in a free and easy yet at the same time awkward manner; she evidently regarded herself as a good-natured, simple creature, and all the while, whatever she did, it always struck one that it was the opposite of what she wanted to do; everything with her seemed done on purpose, as children say – in other words, nothing was simple and spontaneous. (13.9)

Here is the narrator's description of Madame Kukshin, which seems to be exactly the opposite of the description we get of Madame Odintsov. Does cleverness always need to seem natural? Why? What is the relationship between cleverness and the appearance of being natural? Do you think naturalness is something Arkady and Bazarov value?

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