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Fathers and Sons

Fathers and Sons


by Ivan Turgenev

Fathers and Sons Wisdom and Knowledge Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph). We used Rosemary Edmonds's translation.

Quote #1

"Without principles taken as you say on trust one cannot move an inch or draw a single breath." (5.60)

Is Pavel's refutation of nihilism valid? If Arkady and Bazarov were good nihilists, how would they find reason to act? Is nihilism really the paralyzing philosophy that Pavel makes it out to be?

Quote #2

"Yes. It used to be Hegelians, and now there are nihilists. We shall see how you manage to exist in a void, in an airless vacuum; and now please ring the bell, brother Nikolai, it is time for me to drink my cocoa." (5.62)

How does Pavel's experience allow him to so quickly see the faults of nihilism? Why is Arkady blind to them? Should Pavel be more aggressive in refuting his grandson? Why do you think he is so relaxed about the pernicious (potentially harmful) philosophy?

Quote #3

That indefinite twilight period of regrets that are akin to hopes, and hopes which are akin to regrets, when youth is over and old age has not yet come. (7.7)

What is it about the ambiguity of this period – the interplay of hopes and regrets – that might give way to wisdom? Is Pavel's wisdom a result of his suffering? Is wisdom always a result of suffering? Is youth incompatible with wisdom?

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