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Analysis

Literary Devices in Fathers and Sons

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Before we get rolling, let's just note that Fathers and Sons is a realistic novel, through and through. Turgenev's goal is to capture the drama of a few families during a time of social upheaval in...

Setting

The story begins on May 20th in the year 1859. It's not an insignificant date in Russian history. After Russia's disastrous defeat in the Crimean War (1853 – 1856), Russians had become partic...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator of the story is typical of nineteenth-century fiction; he has no direct bearing on the action of the story, and yet he is capable of weaving in and out of the thoughts of whichever cha...

Genre

After Pavel Petrovich and Bazarov finish their most explosive argument, Nikolai thinks back on a time when he and his mother had a dispute. He said to her, "Of course you cannot understand me; we b...

Tone

When Fathers and Sons was first released in 1862, members of the younger generation were outraged because they thought that Turgenev was parodying them through the character of Bazarov. From time t...

Writing Style

Though we're all reading Turgenev in translation, he was an absolute master of the Russian language. He believed that the only way an artist could teach his readers was by "giving the world images...

What's Up with the Title?

First of all, a direct translation of the Russian would actually leave us with the English title Fathers and Children. There seems to be truth in the altered translation. In the patriarchal (male-d...

What's Up With the Ending?

The book ends with its most vital character dead. Bazarov, for all his faults, is the energetic force that keeps the book alive. It is his nihilistic thought that first creates a rift between Nikol...

Plot Analysis

Arkady comes to Maryino with Bazarov in towThe novel opens with Nikolai Petrovich Kirsanov sitting on the steps at Maryino waiting for his son to return home from university. From the start, we are...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Bazarov at MaryinoWhen Arkady first introduces Bazarov at Maryino, he is a young man with a keen sense of his importance. He is convinced that one day he will be great, even if he isn't sure how or...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Declaration of love to Anna Sergeyevna OdintsovIt's difficult to know exactly what to call the "point of no return" in the novel. Perhaps it comes early, with the initial debate between Bazarov and...

Trivia

In The Big Lebowski, when the Dude sees a man floating in the pool, the Big Lebowski's wife, Bunny, tells him that the man is a nihilist. The Dude's comment: "That looks exhausting." Well, it was T...

Steaminess Rating

Have you ever described a girl with the phrase, "What a magnificent body! Shouldn't I like to see it on the dissecting-table" (15.17)? Yeah, we haven't either. Yet this is how Bazarov first speaks...

Allusions

Pushkin, Eugene Onegin (3.63)Galignani (English Journal) (4.36)Hegelians, nihilists (5.62)Schiller, Goethe, German materialist philosophers (6.20)Justus Freiherr von Liebig, German chemist (6.29)K....
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