Fathers and Sons
How we cite our quotes:
Like all women who have not succeeded in falling in love she hankered after something without knowing what it was. (16.84)
Note that this is the narrator describing Anna Sergeyevna. Does his description strike you as an over-simplification? Does it strike you as sexist? Do you think this line would be widely accepted if it occurred in a novel today?
Bazarov was a great devotee of women and of feminine beauty, but love in the ideal – or, as he would have expressed it, the romantic – sense he called tomfoolery, unpardonable imbecility. (17.3)
What do you think Bazarov's problem is with romanticism? How might it be linked with his personal pride? Earlier in the novel he says that he has no patience for science in the abstract, but that science can be very useful. Might he have a similar view of love? Is love sometimes useful?
"We were discussing happiness, I believe. I was telling you about myself. Incidentally, I just used the word 'happiness.' Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess? Why is it? Or perhaps you never felt like that?" (18.10)
Why does Anna Sergeyevna talk about happiness and not about love? Do you think she realizes what she is doing to Bazarov? Why do you suspect she is saying this to Bazarov and not to someone else? What do you make of the description, "a hint of some infinite felicity"? Does this seem to you an accurate description of happiness? Of love?