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Quotes

Quote #1

"An archaic survival! But your father's nice. He wastes his time reading poetry, and knows precious little about farming, but his heart's in the right place." (4.30)

Let's be a little aggressive here. Who is Bazarov to judge that Nikolai's "heart's in the right place"? Who is he to say that reading poetry is a waste of one time? How much does he actually know about Nikolai? What conceit must he have to dismiss the old man so quickly?

Quote #2

"Say – who respects nothing," put in Pavel Petrovich, and set to work with the butter again.

"Who looks at everything critically," observed Arkady.

"Isn't that exactly the same thing?" asked Pavel Petrovich. (5.54-56)

Clearly, Pavel is over-simplifying, but how is respect different from a refusal to accept anything without looking at it critically? What is the relationship between pride and nihilism?

Quote #3

Bazarov's complete indifference exasperated his aristocratic nature. This son of a medico was not only self-assured: he actually returned abrupt and reluctant answers, and there was a churlish, almost insolent note in his voice. (6.11)

Pavel is taken aback not only by the fact that he has recently learned Bazarov is a nihilist, but by the simple tone of his voice. What is it about Pavel's own pride that makes Bazarov's conceit so apparent to him? Do you think Bazarov is aware of how rude he is to Pavel and Nikolai?

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