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Fathers and Sons

Fathers and Sons

by Ivan Turgenev

Traditions and Customs Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

"They never yield one iota of their rights, and for that reason they respect the rights of others; they demand the fulfillment of obligations due to them, and therefore they fulfill their own obligations to others. The aristocracy has given England her freedom and maintains it for her." (10.43)

What about England attracts Pavel to it? Why do you think he looks to English customs instead of to Russian ones? Is there any room for revolution or social change in Pavel's view? What does he mean that the aristocracy has "given England her freedom"? Wouldn't it seem to be England who gave the aristocracy their freedom and rights?

Quote #5

"I am very well aware, for instance, that you are pleased to ridicule my habits, my way of dressing, my punctiliousness, in fact. But those very things proceed from a sense of self-respect, from a sense of duty – yes, sir, of duty. I may live in the country, in the wilds of the country, but I do not let myself go, I respect myself as a human being." (10.45)

What does Pavel feel a sense of duty to? Does Bazarov lack a sense of duty? Is a sense of duty inherently conservative and opposed to social advance and change? If not, how can a sense of duty be flexible?

Quote #6

"Civilization is what value, yes, yes, my good sir: its fruits are precious to us. And don't tell me those fruits are of no importance: the meanest penny-a-liner – un barbouilleur , a piano-player who makes five farthings an evening – even they are of more use than you, because they stand for civilization and not crude Mongolian force." (10.104)

Is Pavel simply speaking as a conservative member of the Russian gentry or is there truth to what he says? Why do you think it is that he opposes civilization to force? Are the two actually opposites? What is the bottom line of Pavel's argument? What is the relationship between personal responsibility and tradition?

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