Study Guide

Fathers and Sons

Fathers and Sons Summary

Arkady Nikolaevich returns to his father's farm at Maryino on the 20th of May 1859. His father, Nikolai, is ecstatic to see him, and happily takes in Bazarov, Arkady's new friend from school in Petersburg.

Nikolai is a widower who has recently freed his serfs (members of the Russian peasant class, bound to a landowning lord), and he has been selling off his land to make ends meet. He has a relationship with a young girl named Fenichka who used to be a servant, and the two of them now have a son named Mitya. He lives with his brother, Pavel, who used to be a great general.

One morning when Bazarov goes out to collect frogs (he enjoys doing experiments on them), Pavel and Nikolai ask Arkady about his new friend. Arkady proudly tells them that Bazarov is a nihilist, a man willing to question every principle no matter how much it is revered. The two old men are a bit taken aback, and, when Bazarov returns, he and Pavel have an argument. Pavel is much prouder than his brother Nikolai, and he has no patience for the rude young man.

Arkady, though still loyal to his friend, notices how rude Bazarov is. He tried to get him to sympathize with Pavel by telling him Pavel's story. Pavel was a well-respected society man and a captain in the army, but then he lost his head over an enigmatic woman named Princess R. She never accepted his advances, and eventually died in a state of insanity. Bazarov persists in his arrogance, and thinks that Pavel has made a mess of his own life and now preaches to the young.

A few weeks later, an even larger fight erupts between Pavel and Bazarov. Pavel argues that one cannot live without principles, and that the Russians are a traditional people, a people of faith. Bazarov, for his part, argues that the young can do nothing more useful than renounce everything. Both men lose their tempers, and separate in order to cool off. After observing the argument, Nikolai remembers a time he told his mother that she couldn't understand him because she was of a different generation. He wonders if the same thing has now happened between himself and his son Arkady.

Bazarov and Arkady go to a nearby town to visit a successful relative of Arkady's, Matvei Ilyich Kolyazin. Kolyazin takes Arkady under his wing and invites the two young men to a ball. The same day, Bazarov runs into an old companion named Victor Sitnikov, who insists that they come and have drinks with a clever older woman he has met, Madame Kukshin. Madame Kukshin tries hard to draw Bazarov out, but he is unimpressed and reveals that he has little interest in women's rights – a subject about which she is very passionate.

At the ball, Arkady and Bazarov meet Anna Sergeyevna Odintsov, an acquaintance of Madame Kukshin's. Arkady is instantly smitten with her, and manages to chat with her for most of the night. It is clear, however, that she is more curious about Bazarov. She invites the two of them to her hotel, and then to her place in the country at Nikolskoye.

Anna Sergeyevna grew up very independent. Her father lost his fortune gambling and died young. She and her sister Katya would have had a simple life if she hadn't met Monsieur Odintsov. Anna and Odintsov were married, and, when he died, he left them a fortune.

Over the course of the visit, she and Bazarov become very close. Arkady feels like he is elbowed out, and he is left to spend most of his time with Anna's younger sister, Katya. Though Bazarov can hardly admit it to himself, he is falling in love with Anna Sergeyevna. For her part, she reveals to him that she feels incomplete, that she worries that happiness will elude her. Bazarov is frustrated with her and thinks she is being coy, but he can't help himself. He makes a declaration of love to her, and she rejects him.

The situation at Nikolskoye becomes very tense until Sitnikov arrives, uninvited. Shortly after, Bazarov decides that he will go to visit his parents, who have been dying to see him. Arkady announces that he will also leave, but opts to go to Bazarov's home over riding back to Maryino with Sitnikov. In the carriage, Bazarov tells Arkady that they both acted like fools; that they were too taken in by the women at Nikolskoye. He tells himself that he is over Anna Sergeyevna, and looks forward to seeing his father.

Bazarov's parents, Vassily Ivanych and Arina Vlassyevna, are thrilled to see him. It has been three years, and they clear out a room for him and Arkady and do their best not to fuss over them. Arkady has a talk with Vassily Ivanych about Bazarov, and they both agree that one day he will be a great man. Bazarov, however, seems irritated by his parents. He is in a dark and melancholy mood, and when Arkady comments on his cynicism, the two of them begin to bicker. After just three days, Bazarov decides to leave, though he promises his parents he will return soon. They are crushed, and cling to one another in their grief.

On the way home, Arkady talks Bazarov into making a detour to the Odintsovs'. It is a brief and awkward visit, but Anna Sergeyevna encourages them to stop back at another time. When they return to Maryino, Arkady realizes that he can't stop thinking of the Odintsovs. His father shows him some letters that Anna Sergeyevna's mother sent to Arkady's mother, and Arkady decides to use it as a pretext to return. When he does, Anna Sergeyevna is very happy to see him, but he realizes that it is Katya he can't stop thinking about.

Bazarov is left alone at Maryino, and retires into solitude, working all day. Pavel tolerates him, and Nikolai enjoys popping in to help with experiments. Bazarov begins to become close with Fenichka. One day, the two of them are joking around and he makes a move and kisses her. A moment later, Pavel emerges from behind a nearby bush. Fenichka is embarrassed and angry with Bazarov.

Pavel does not tell his brother what happened. The next day, however, he proposes a duel to Bazarov. Bazarov takes it all as tongue-in-cheek, but agrees. They meet in the morning using the servant Piotr as witness. Pavel fires first and misses, and Bazarov shoots and hits Pavel in the thigh. As soon as Pavel is hit, Bazarov goes and attends to him. Piotr rushes back to get Nikolai. Bazarov and Pavel lie to him and say they fell out over English politics. Bazarov leaves as quickly as he can, and, as Pavel heals, he tells Nikolai that he wants him to do right by Fenichka and marry her. Nikolai is thrilled since the only reason he hadn't already done so was because he was afraid that Pavel would disapprove.

Meanwhile, Arkady is spending a great deal of time with Katya at Nikolskoye. They discuss Bazarov and Anna Sergeyevna, and Katya thinks that Arkady is coming out from under the shadow of Bazarov's influence. Bazarov comes to Nikolskoye to tell Arkady what happened with Pavel. Arkady is shocked, but Bazarov assures him that Pavel is fine. At Arkady's insistence, Bazarov goes to see Anna Sergeyevna.

The two of them are uncomfortable together, though they fall into a companionable relationship. Bazarov reveals to Anna Sergeyevna that Arkady was in love with her when they first met, and she begins to think differently of Arkady. The next day, however, Arkady asks Katya to meet him out on the portico. He tries to propose, but trips over his words. They are interrupted when they overhear a conversation between Bazarov and Anna Sergeyevna, who are walking nearby.

It comes out that Anna Sergeyevna is considering a relationship with Arkady, but as soon as she and Bazarov walk on, Arkady proposes to Katya. She accepts and he is thrilled. Bazarov decides that he must leave and return home. He tells Arkady that this is their last goodbye, and that Arkady lacks the spirit that he himself has. He thinks that gentry will only go so far, they will not fight. Arkady is disappointed that Bazarov doesn't have anything nicer to say to him at their parting, but, when he begins speaking with Katya after Bazarov departs, Arkady quickly forgets him.

Bazarov returns home, and begins helping his father, a doctor, treat the local peasants. Vassily Ivanych is happy and very proud, but he worries that Bazarov is sad and gloomy. One day, Bazarov is in town, and decides to help the local doctors open up a man who recently died of typhus. In the process, he accidentally cuts himself. He is very calm about it, but as the days pass, it becomes clear that he has contracted the disease. He is feverish and bed-ridden.

One of Bazarov's last wishes is for his father to send a message Anna Sergeyevna and tell her that he is dying. His father does so, and Anna Sergeyevna immediately comes to see them with a German doctor in tow. Bazarov is partly delirious. He thinks ironically of all the time he spent considering himself a giant, and now his only problem is how to die decently. At his request, Anna Sergeyevna gives him a kiss on the forehead before she leaves. He dies the same evening.

The book closes with the weddings of Nikolai and Fenichka and Arkady and Katya. Pavel leaves them and goes to Dresden to live out the remainder of his life. The narrator surveys the lives of all the characters before ending by speaking of Bazarov's grave. Bazarov's parents often go there to pray and weep, and the narrator thinks that no matter how stubborn their son was in his nihilism, it is not possible that they weep in vain.

  • Chapter 1

    • On the 20th of May in the year 1859, Nikolai Kirsanov comes out on his porch and asks his servant, Piotr, if his son has returned yet.
    • Piotr announces that he has not.
    • As Nikolai sits down on a bench to wait "with his feet tucked under him and gazing pensively around let us introduce him to the reader" (1.7).
    • Nikolai is the son of a Russian general. He was born and brought up in the south and has one brother, Pavel.
    • Pavel went into the service, but the same day that Nikolai was commissioned he broke his leg. His father gave him up as a bad case and entered him in the University at Petersburg.
    • Nikolai's father retired from the service the same year that Nikolai graduated. He was about to move to Petersburg with his wife, but he had a stroke and died. His wife followed shortly after.
    • In the meantime, Nikolai made up his mind to fall in love with the daughter of his former landlord.
    • When they were married, Nikolai quit his job at the Ministry of Land Distribution and moved out to the country. Before long his son, Arkady, was born.
    • They lived a quiet life there for ten years and then, in 1847, Nikolai's wife died; "The blow nearly killed him and in a few weeks his hair turned grey" (1.8).
    • To free his thoughts, Nikolai planned to travel abroad. Bad timing, though, because as soon as he left the revolutions of 1848 spread across Europe. He returned home to improve the management of his estate.
    • In 1855, Nikolai enrolled Arkady in the University at Petersburg. He spent the first three winters there, looking after him, but he was not able to go this most recent winter, "and so we meet him, quite grey now, stoutish and a trifle bent, in this month of May 1859, waiting for the arrival of his son, who has just taken his degree as once he himself had done" (1.8).
    • Nikolai thinks of Arkady and his dead wife. He watches a fat pigeon flying down on the road, and then hears the wheels of Arkady's carriage approaching. He runs out to greet him happily.
  • Chapter 2

    • Arkady doesn't even have time to shake the dust off as his father embraces him. Nikolai is ecstatic and insists on having a look at his son.
    • He quickly begins leading the carriage to a parking place, but Arkady tells him that first he has to introduce his new friend, Bazarov.
    • Nikolai turns and goes back to grip Bazarov's hand. Bazarov is slow in offering it to him, and as he introduces himself his face is "animated by a tranquil smile betokening self-assurance and intelligence" (2.8).
    • Nikolai yells at Piotr to harness Arkady's horses. Nikolai takes Arkady in his own barouch (a type of four-wheeled carriage with two seats facing each other), while Bazarov rides behind in the tarantass (a different type of four-wheeled carriage resting on two parallel wooden bars).
    • Arkady encourages his father not to stand on ceremony (take too much trouble) for them.
    • Nikolai's coachman, Mitya, brings the horses around. Bazarov yells at him to hurry up, calling him "old bushy-beard" (2.18). The other driver kids him about it, but Mitya makes no reply.
    • They all load up in the carriages and head toward Nikolai's house.
  • Chapter 3

    • As Nikolai fusses over Arkady, Arkady asks after his Uncle Pavel. He wants to make sure his father doesn't become too emotional.
    • Nikolai tells him Pavel meant to come, but changed his mind at the last minute. He says that he's been waiting for Arkady for five hours.
    • Arkady is shocked and plants a kiss on his father's cheek.
    • As Nikolai is announcing how well prepared the house is, Arkady asks him to take good care of Bazarov. He tells him that he has just met him recently, but that Bazarov means a great deal to him.
    • Arkady claims that Bazarov knows everything, and tells Nikolai that he is going to take a degree in medicine.
    • Nikolai sees some of his peasants heading into town, and mentions it to Piotr who thinks contemptuously that they must be going to the tavern.
    • Nikolai tells Arkady that the peasants have been giving him trouble this year. They refuse to pay their tithes (taxes to the landowner).
    • Nikolai goes on about the trouble with employees, but Arkady cuts him off and wishes that they had some shade.
    • When Nikolai announces that he has put up an awning on their verandah (large, open porch), Arkady worries that it will make the house look like a summer villa.
    • Arkady goes on, "But that's not important. The air here! How wonderful it is! I do believe the air smells sweeter here than anywhere else in the world" (3.26).
    • Nikolai thinks that everything seems special to Arkady because he was born here. Arkady disagrees with him, saying that it makes no difference.
    • They discuss old servants, and Nikolai says that Arkady will find the farm at Maryino more or less unchanged.
    • Nikolai tells Arkady that after the house-serfs received their freedom, he stopped entrusting them with substantial tasks. Even Piotr is, in effect, free.
    • Nikolai goes on to admit that Maryino is not completely unchanged. He is embarrassed, but he has taken a girl named Fenichka in to live with him (yes, in short, Nikolai is having a relationship with one of his servants).
    • When Nikolai offers to change the set-up for the duration of their stay, Arkady tells him it's not a big deal. Nikolai is ashamed, but Arkady thinks that he has nothing to apologize for. He feels tenderness for his kind-hearted old father.
    • Arkady takes a bit of pride in his own "more emancipated outlook," and as Nikolai continues to rub his head in embarrassment "something seem[s] to stab his heart" (3.49-50).
    • Arkady looks out on their meadows and forests, but Nikolai announces that he sold the forest.
    • Looking out on his father's land, Arkady's heart sinks. He realizes that it has all gone to ruin, and he doesn't know how to begin building it back up.
    • Arkady lets his thoughts fade away as he watches the rooks (old world birds that resemble the American crow) "black and beautiful against the tender green of the low spring corn: they disappeared in the already whitening rye, and their heads only now and again peeped out from among its smoke-like waves" (3.60).
    • Nikolai again emphasizes how thrilled he is to have Arkady back. He says they must draw close together, and Arkady agrees.
    • Thinking of spring, Nikolai begins to quote some lines from Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. He is cut off by Bazarov, calling up for some matches.
    • Arkady has Piotr run his matchbox back to Bazarov's carriage, and Bazarov offers him a cigar.
    • When Arkady begins smoking, the stench is so strong that Nikolai has to avert his nose. He does so discreetly, though, so as not to hurt his son's feelings.
    • The carriage approaches the farm after a quarter hour, and the narrator notes that the peasants have nick-named it "The Farm-with-out-any-land" (3.69).
  • Chapter 4

    • Only a young girl and boy (Pavel Kirsanov's servant) come to greet the men when they arrive at Maryino.
    • Nikolai, Arkady, and Bazarov make their way to the drawing room. Nikolai says that they will have supper at once, and then they can all go to bed.
    • At that moment, his old servant, Prokofyich, appears. He walks up and kisses Arkady's hand and comments on how good he looks.
    • Nikolai offers to let Bazarov have some time in his room before dinner, but Bazarov replies that he is fine; he'd just like his trunk and jacket to be taken there. Prokofyich carries them out for him.
    • Arkady is about to go to his room to tidy up when his uncle Pavel appears. Pavel makes quite an entrance. The narrator thinks that he has retained some of the beauty of his youth, and notes his "aristocratic elegance" (4.11).
    • Pavel removes his hand from his pocket and the narrator notes that he has long tapering nails. He shakes Arkady's hand and then kisses him three times. He does not offer his hand to Bazarov.
    • They make small talk, and Arkady says he's just going to his room for a second. Bazarov jumps up and says he'll join him.
    • Pavel asks Nikolai who Bazarov is; he calls him "that long-haired creature" (4.19). Pavel goes on to say that Arkady seems very smart and that he's happy to have him back.
    • At supper, there is little conversation. Bazarov says practically nothing. Pavel does not eat. He simply paces up and down and makes occasional exclamations in response to the things Nikolai and Arkady say.
    • Nikolai talks about the upcoming government reforms, and the difficulties of the farming life. Arkady shares a bit of Petersburg gossip, but he is embarrassed because he knows that everyone at Maryino still thinks of him as a child.
    • After dinner, as soon as Arkady and Bazarov separate, Bazarov notes how ridiculous Pavel is. He thinks that he must dress fancily out of nostalgia for lost times and calls him an "archaic survival" (4.30).
    • As for Arkady's father, he thinks "he wastes his time reading poetry, and knows precious little about farming" (4.30). He also points out how shy he is.
    • Arkady tries to stick up for both his father and his uncle, but Bazarov simply speaks over him.
    • Bazarov's last thought before he departs is that he is happy to have an English washstand (sink) in his room because washstands indicate progress.
    • After he leaves, Arkady feels overcome with happiness to be home amongst familiar people and things.
    • Arkady and Bazarov fall asleep quickly. Nikolai stays up for awhile because he is too excited by his son's arrival. Pavel sits up holding a copy of Galignani (English daily paper) without reading it. He stares into the flames of the fireplace. The narrator thinks that something in the present concerns him.
    • In the back room is Fenichka, who sleeps on and off, but is constantly peeking through an open door where she can see a sleeping infant (hint: who's the father?).
  • Chapter 5

    • Bazarov rises early and goes wandering about on Nikolai's estate. He's unimpressed.
    • After Nikolai divided up his land with his peasants, he had to set up a manor house on nine acres of flat and barren land. His ponds aren't doing well, and most of the trees that he planted didn't take; his wells taste brackish.
    • Bazarov inspects the estate and then gather together some young boys to take him looking for frogs in the swamp.
    • As they walk over, Bazarov explains to the boys that he wants to dissect the frogs in order to see what goes on inside them. He tells them that he is a doctor, and that the inside of a frog is not so different from the inside of a human.
    • One boy thinks this idea is funny, whereas the other, Vasska, says that frogs scare him.
    • The three of them head out into the water looking for frogs.
    • Nikolai and Arkady rise and go to the terrace to have breakfast. A little girl comes out and tells them that Fenichka is not feeling well today. Nikolai says that's fine and begins to pour out the tea for him and his son.
    • After a moment, Arkady works up the courage to ask his father if it's because he is there that Fenichka refuses to come pour out the tea.
    • Nikolai turns slightly away. He admits that she may feel a bit ashamed.
    • Arkady makes a speech saying that he in no way disapproves of their relationship, that he is not one to sit in judgment of his father. He realizes he is giving something like a lecture, but the sound of his own voice makes him feel strong.
    • Nikolai feels awkward talking about it, and Arkady, in a burst of good will, decides that if she will not come out, he will go to her.
    • When he leaves, Nikolai collapses in his chair. He is confused and wonders if his son will think of this as a sign of weakness in his father.
    • Arkady returns and announces that they have introduced themselves. He chides (to scold, but less severely) his father for not telling him that he has a baby brother.
    • As they embrace, Pavel comes up behind them. He jokes that they are always embracing since Arkady is back, and says that he wouldn't mind giving him a hug himself.
    • Pavel, as usual, is impeccably dressed. He inquires after Bazarov, and Arkady tells him that he has gotten up early and gone wondering. He says that he hates ceremony (to have other people wait on him).
    • Pavel says that this is obvious.
    • Arkady tells his uncle that Bazarov's father lives nearby, and Pavel suddenly remembers that there was a surgeon called Bazarov in their father's division.
    • Pavel asks exactly what the young Bazarov is.
    • Arkady, as if triumphantly, announces "He is a nihilist!" (5.50).
    • Nikolai doesn't know exactly what this is. He thinks of its Latin root and guesses that it is a man who recognizes nothing.
    • Pavel clarifies that it is a man who "respects nothing" (5.54).
    • Arkady disagrees. He says it is a man who looks at everything critically, a "person who does not take any principle for granted, however much that principle may be revered" (5.57).
    • Pavel asks if this is a good thing. Arkady says it is good in some cases, but bad in others.
    • Pavel tells him that this is not something the older generation agrees with. He says, "without principles taken as you say on trust one cannot move an inch or draw a single breath" (5.60).
    • He goes on to say, "It used to be Hegelians, and now there are nihilists. We shall see how you exist in a void, in an airless vacuum" (5.62).
    • At Pavel's request, Nikolai rings the bell and calls for cocoa. To his surprise, Fenichka appears.
    • When she puts the cocoa on the table, she becomes embarrassed; "she looked as if she were ashamed to have come in, yet at the same time somehow felt that she had a right to come" (5.63).
    • Pavel looks displeased, and, after greeting everyone, she departs.
    • When Pavel sees Bazarov coming up to the terrace, spattered with mud and carrying a sack of wiggling frogs, he says, "Here is Monsieur Nihilist about to give us the pleasure of his company" (5.67).
    • Pavel asks Bazarov what he's going to do with the frogs, and Bazarov tells him that they are for experiments.
    • As Bazarov walks off, Pavel says, "He has no faith in principles, only in frogs" (5.73).
    • Realizing his joke has fallen flat, Pavel begins talking about the management of the farm. In particular, he complains about a farm-hand named Foma who has been shirking (avoiding) his duty lately. He thinks that, with time, he'll shake off his stupid ways.
  • Chapter 6

    • As Bazarov begins to drink his tea, he announces that he saw a bunch of snipe (wading birds) in the woods. He suggests that Arkady could bag them later since he doesn't shoot.
    • Pavel asks if Bazarov studies physics, and he clarifies that he studies natural science in general.
    • Pavel says that he has heard the Germans have been making great strides in the sciences, and Bazarov admits that they are the Russians' masters there.
    • Pavel is irritated. In Bazarov's voice, he perceives "a churlish, almost insolent note" (6.11).
    • When Bazarov clarifies his admiration for the Germans, Pavel is only more irritated. He says Arkady was just telling them that Bazarov acknowledged no authorities whatsoever.
    • Bazarov says that he only agrees with those who talk sense. He agrees with the Germans when they do, and he disagrees with them when they do not.
    • Pavel says that he has no great admiration for the Germans. There used to be some great Germans, like the authors Schiller and Goethe, but today "they only seem to churn out chemists and materialists" (6.20).
    • Bazarov snaps back, "A decent chemist is twenty times more useful than any poet" (6.21).
    • Pavel tries to pin Bazarov down. He asks if Bazarov believes in art, and Bazarov jokes that he believes in the art of making money. He asks if Bazarov believes in science, but Bazarov again claims that he believes only in what is useful – that there is no such thing as science in the abstract.
    • When Pavel continues with his questioning, Bazarov wonders aloud why he is suffering a cross-examination. Pavel turns pale, and Nikolai intervenes.
    • Nikolai says that he is happy Bazarov is studying the sciences because he might be able to help him with his agricultural labors.
    • Referencing Liebig, the latest German to discover ways of improving the soil, Bazarov says that such science is far above their heads. Still, he will do his best.
    • Nikolai thinks to himself "You are a nihilist all right," and then tells Pavel that it is time for them to go see their new bailiff (overseer of the farm) (6.31).
    • As Pavel rises, he speaks contemptuously to no one. He says it's such a shame that he has spent so much time trying to remember an education that has become obsolete. It has left him just a stupid old man, and he says, "Obviously the younger generation are more intelligent than we are" (6.33).
    • When they leave, Bazarov asks Arkady if his uncle is always like that. Arkady says that Bazarov must admit that he was quite rude to him.
    • Bazarov retorts that he has no intention of pandering to vain old aristocrats. He is about to tell Arkady about a rare specimen of beetle he found in the swamp, but Arkady insists on telling him his uncle's story to prove that "he deserves pity rather than ridicule" (6.40).
  • Chapter 7

    • When Pavel was young, he was extremely good-looking and charming. He quickly became a society favorite, and women lost their heads over him.
    • He lived in an apartment with Nikolai, though they were very different. Nikolai was sensitive and enjoyed reading, whereas Pavel was a man of action.
    • At the age of only twenty-seven, he was a captain, and things seemed to just be taking off for him. Then everything changed.
    • Pavel feel in love with an enigmatic woman named Princess R. She lived in Petersburg with her husband, but was known for constantly traveling to Europe and for displaying extremely eccentric behavior.
    • Pavel won her heart quickly, but his love did not cool. He became obsessed with this woman who "seemed to be in the grip of mysterious forces, unknown even to herself, which played her at will, her limited intelligence being unable to cope with their caprices" (7.2).
    • Princess R was a sad woman, and her love was linked with this sadness. After seeing Pavel, she would sometimes lock herself away in her room and sob for hours.
    • One day, Pavel gave her a ring with a sphinx engraved on a stone. He told her "that sphinx is – you" (7.4).
    • Princess R said she was flattered, but her eyes retained a strange expression.
    • When Princess R lost interest in Pavel, he nearly went out of his mind. He pursued her so intensely that she fled the country, and he resigned his post to follow her.
    • For four years, he went from one spot to another looking for her. He was ashamed, but "her image – that baffling, almost vacant but fascinating image – had bitten too deeply into his soul" (7.6).
    • They met again in Baden (modern day southwest Germany) and resumed their old relationship; things seemed more intense than ever.
    • Then she fled one night, without warning, and there was nothing for Pavel to do but return to Russia and try to give the impression that he could still function in society; "he undertook nothing new" (7.6).
    • One night while out at the club, Pavel received news that Princess R died in Paris in a state bordering on insanity. She had returned the ring, but she had etched a cross over the image of the sphinx.
    • She had also sent him a note telling him that this was the answer to the enigma – the cross.
    • This was at the beginning of 1848, shortly after Nikolai had lost his wife. Pavel came to visit, but, even then, there was a great difference between the brothers.
    • Nikolai had a happy past to look back on and a son, whereas Pavel, "the lonely bachelor, was just entering on 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).
    • Nikolai did not invite him to Maryino (named for Nikolai's dead wife) because he thought he would find it boring. Pavel, however, said that he was not as restless as he used to be, and that he would like to settle there.
    • After a year and a half, Pavel came and settled at Maryino. Once there, he never left, even when Nikolai went with Arkady to Petersburg. He began reading English books and modeled his life on the English pattern.
    • He was a liberal man who cared for the peasants, but also kept the new generation at a distance. He was well-respected in society and could still woo ladies, but he stayed aloof and did not cultivate the society of ladies.
    • Arkady concludes by telling Bazarov how unfair he was. He also points out that Pavel has helped out his father financially, and that he constantly stands up for the peasants even if he acts stuck-up around them.
    • Bazarov thinks that he is a nervous case, but Arkady says that his heart is in the right place and that he has much advice to give, especially about women.
    • Bazarov replies scornfully, "Aha! Messes up his own life and gives advice to others! We know all about that!" (7.15).
    • Arkady says that Pavel is so unhappy that it's a crime to despise him.
    • Bazarov says that he does not despise him, but that one who gives up after one failed love affair is not actually a man. He thinks that Pavel is deluded in still thinking himself a man of action.
    • Arkady tries to appeal to Pavel's different education, but Bazarov snaps that everyone should be able to educate himself, as he has done.
    • He says, "And as to the times we live in, why should I depend upon them? Much better they should depend upon me" (7.19).
    • He thinks that all this talk of love is "romantic rot, mouldy aesthetics. We had much better go and inspect that beetle" (7.19).
    • The two of them walk off to Bazarov's room, which already has a medico-surgical smell, mixed only with "the reek of cheap tobacco" (7.20).
  • Chapter 8

    • Pavel doesn't stay long at the interview with the bailiff, who constantly agrees that the peasants were a useless bunch.
    • The estate has just recently been put on a new system "whose mechanism still creaked like an ungreased wheel, and cracked in places like home-made furniture of unseasoned wood" (8.1).
    • Nikolai, for his part, knows that things could not be improved without money, which he does not currently have.
    • Pavel has, as Arkady told Bazarov, helped out his brother on more than one occasion. Pavel would never tell Nikolai this, but he thinks him impractical; he thinks that he mismanages his estate.
    • In contrast, Nikolai greatly admires Pavel's practical ability. He tells him, "you understand people. You see through them with the eye of an eagle" (8.1).
    • After leaving the meeting, Pavel goes to visit Fenichka. He asks her if she will tell the servants to get him some green tea.
    • Fenichka agrees, and Pavel notes that she has changed the curtains. She says that Nikolai replaced them for him.
    • Pavel says that the room looks quite cozy, and Fenichka says that it is only due to Nikolai's kindness.
    • Pavel continues to question her about the difference between old quarters and new. Fenichka keeps thinking that he is about to go away, but he makes no move.
    • After a pause, Pavel asks if he can have a look at the little child. Fenichka is delighted and has the servant Dunyasha bring her child, Mitya, over to her.
    • Fenichka goes with Dunyasha to dress the child, and Pavel observes the room. It is well decorated, including some unflattering pictures of Nikolai and Fenichka, and a menacing looking one of their father, General Kirsanov.
    • When Fenichka reappears, it is clear that she has neatened up both the infant and herself. The narrator thinks, "Is there anything more captivating than a beautiful young mother with a healthy child in her arms?" (8.24).
    • Pavel tickles Mitya's chin, and Fenichka points to Pavel and whispers to Mitya that he is looking at his uncle.
    • Pavel asks how old the baby is, and she says almost seven months. Dunyasha thinks that it is eight, but Fenichka snaps that it is seven (shouldn't a mother know how old her baby is?).
    • The baby takes Fenichka's nose in its hands and she jokingly exclaims, "You little rogue!" (8.32).
    • Pavel thinks that the baby looks very much like his brother.
    • A moment later, Nikolai appears. He has been searching for Pavel.
    • Pavel sees how happy Nikolai is and tells him he has a fine little infant. He then leaves without saying anything.
    • Nikolai asks Fenichka if Pavel came of his own accord. Nikolai asks if Arkady has come again, but she says that he has not.
    • Fenichka wonders if she should move into the back-wing, but Nikolai says no, that it's too late. If she was going to move, they should have done it before.
    • He bends down and kisses her hand; "Her expression was lovely as she peeped from under her eyelids and laughed tenderly and a little foolishly" (8.48).
    • Nikolai met Fenichka when he was staying in an inn in a remote provincial town. He was impressed with the cleanliness of his room, and fell into conversation with the landlady, Arina Savishna.
    • After the re-arrangement of his estate, Nikolai had little interest in employing his former servants. For her part, Arina was disappointed with how few people came through the inn.
    • Nikolai suggested that she come to work for him, and shortly after she moved in with her daughter at Maryino.
    • Arina was a good worker and brought order to the farm. For the first year, she kept Fenichka out of sight, except for Sundays when she would come out for church.
    • One day, Fenichka got a spark from the stove in her eye. Arina brought her to Nikolai, and he made up an ointment for the girl and, tearing up his handkerchief, showed her how to bathe it.
    • Arina told Fenichka to kiss her master's hand, but she was confused and so Nikolai leaned forward and kissed her forehead.
    • After that, she was shy with him, but she had made quite an impression on him and he couldn't get the sight of her gentle face out of his head.
    • Suddenly, Arina died of cholera. Fenichka was left out all alone, and, as the narrator says, "There is no need to describe what followed" (8.53).
    • Nikolai again clarifies that Pavel dropped in of his own will. Fenichka says yes, he did, and Nikolai, very happy, picks up his young child and begins tossing it toward the ceiling. The baby is delighted, but the mother is frightened.
    • Meanwhile, Pavel returns to his grey room, and throws himself down on the sofa. He remains "staring at the ceiling with an expression verging on despair" (8.58).
  • Chapter 9

    • The same day, Bazarov meets Fenichka. He and Arkady are strolling through the garden, and Bazarov is explaining why many of the trees are not doing well.
    • When Bazarov catches sight of Fenichka sitting under the trees with Dunyasha and Mitya, he exclaims, "Who's that?" (9.4).
    • Arkady explains Fenichka's relations with his father, and Bazarov says, "That shows your father's got good taste. I like your father, I really do" (9.8). He insists on meeting Fenichka.
    • Arkady is shocked and wants Bazarov to mind himself. Bazarov ignores him and goes and politely introduces himself to Fenichka.
    • Seeing that Mitya's cheeks are flushed, Bazarov asks if the baby is cutting his teeth. Fenichka says that he is.
    • Bazarov asks to see it and tells them not to be alarmed because he is a doctor.
    • When he takes the baby in his arms, both Fenichka and Dunyasha are surprised that the baby does not protest.
    • When Bazarov asks how Fenichka is doing, she says well, thanks to... but he cuts her off. He asks the same of Dunyasha, who giggles.
    • The two women comment on how calm the child was with Bazarov. Dunyasha says, "Children know when people are fond of them" (9.25).
    • Arkady asks to see the baby, but when he tries to lure Mitya into his arms, the child begins screaming. Fenichka is embarrassed.
    • Arkady indulgently tells her that it can wait until another day.
    • As Arkady and Bazarov walk off, Bazarov inquires after Fenichka. He says that she is a good mother, and that both she and Arkady's father are right.
    • Bazarov asks if Arkady is uncomfortable with their relationship, and Arkady says that he thinks his father should marry her. Bazarov is amazed that Arkady still has faith in marriage.
    • Bazarov begins criticizing Nikolai's establishment, saying that the he needs to watch his peasants because "the Russian peasant will get the better of God himself" (9.44).
    • Arkady thinks that his uncle is right that Bazarov has a low opinion of Russians. Bazarov cleverly retorts, "The only good thing about a Russian is the poor opinion he has of himself" (9.46).
    • Arkady asks if nature is also trivial, and Bazarov says that it is in the sense he thinks of it. Bazarov says one should think of nature not as a temple, but as a workshop.
    • There is the sound of someone playing Schubert's Expectation on the cello "with feeling, though in an amateurish manner, and the melody flowed sweet as honey through the air" (9.49).
    • When Arkady tells Bazarov that it is his father, Bazarov laughs that an old man in an out of the way province wastes his time playing the cello. Arkady does not even smile.
  • Chapter 10

    • A fortnight (two weeks) passes. Arkady slips into a life of leisure and Bazarov works. People have gotten used to him.
    • One night, Fenichka even calls on him to help with the baby, and he stays up with them for several hours. Pavel, by contrast, detests Bazarov. He thinks him "a cynic and a vulgarian" (10.1).
    • Nikolai is skeptical of Bazarov and worries about his influence over Arkady, but he is tolerant and assists him with his experiments.
    • The servants like Bazarov very much, even when he makes fun of them. Dunyasha is always flirting with him, and Piotr brightens up when he walks by.
    • Prokofyich, like Pavel, detests him, calling him a "butcher" and a "humbug" (10.1).
    • It is the best time of the year, June. Bazarov has begun rising early to gather grasses and insects, and will often take Arkady with him.
    • They usually argue and Arkady loses, "although he was more eloquent than his companion" (10.2).
    • One morning, Nikolai is coming out to meet them when he overhears Arkady defending him. He keeps quiet.
    • Bazarov says that Nikolai is a good man, "but he's old-fashioned, he's had his day" (10.6).
    • Nikolai strains his ears for Arkady's reply, but there is none. He begins walking back to the house.
    • Bazarov continues that he has seen Nikolai reading Pushkin, which he thinks is a bunch of romantic rubbish. He suggests Nikolai give him Büchner's Stoff und Kraft instead (Büchner was a German materialist philosopher).
    • Arkady agrees with him, and thinks it will be good for his father because it is written in popular language.
    • Nikolai finds his brother in the study after dinner and tells him that they have become old-fashioned. Nikolai thinks Bazarov may be right, but he is sad because he wants to become friendly with Arkady, "but it turns out that I have been left standing while he has forged ahead, and now we cannot understand one another" (10.13).
    • Pavel says it's all Bazarov's influence, that he thinks he's not even much of a doctor. Nikolai says he must admit that Bazarov is clever and very well-educated.
    • Pavel goes on, "his conceit is quite revolting" (10.16).
    • Nikolai thinks perhaps "one cannot succeed without conceit" (10.17). What he doesn't understand, he says, is that he does everything he can to stay up to date with the times and to treat his peasants well. He doesn't know how he has still been left in the dust.
    • Pavel asks why he would think that, and he tells him that Arkady came up to him while he was reading and replaced his copy of Pushkin's The Gypsies with a copy of Büchner.
    • Nikolai shows the book to Pavel, who is irritated that Arkady is trying to oversee his father's education. He asks him what he thinks of it.
    • Nikolai says, "Either I am stupid or it is all rubbish. I suppose I must be stupid" (10.27).
    • To change the subject, Nikolai tells him that their relative, Matvei Ilyich Kolyazin, wants to invite the two of them to his estate. They both decide not to go, and Pavel thinks that Kolyazin is just trying to show off.
    • With a sigh, Nikolai says, "It seems the time has come to order our coffins and cross our hands upon our breasts" (10.37).
    • Pavel says he will not give up so quickly. He predicts a skirmish with Bazarov in the near future.
    • When Pavel sits down to have tea with the group later that day, he is looking for a fight. When Bazarov refers to one of their neighbors as "a complete rotter, a third-rate aristocrat," Pavel seizes on the opportunity (10.40).
    • He guesses that Bazarov thinks that a "rotter" and an "aristocrat" are the same thing. For his part, he says that he admires the English aristocracy: "they demand the fulfillment of obligations due to them, and therefore they fulfill their own obligations to others" (10.43).
    • Bazarov asks what he's trying to prove.
    • Pavel continues, beginning with phthis (by mispronouncing the word, he is intentionally embracing his Russian background). He says that he wants to prove "without a sense of proper pride, without a sense of self-respect – and these feelings are highly developed in the aristocrat – there can be no firm foundation for the social... bien public... the social fabric" (10.45).
    • Bazarov retorts that whether or not Pavel respects himself, he'd sit there with his arms folded either way; what good does that do the public?
    • Pavel turns pale.
    • His point, he says, "that aristocratism is a principle, and only immoral or silly people can live in our age without principles" (10.48).
    • Nikolai agrees with his brother, while Bazarov exclaims that all this talk isn't worth a straw for the average Russian.
    • Pavel pushes him. He wants to know what they need, says that they must acknowledge their logical place in history.
    • Bazarov says that there is no reason for logic, that he bases his conduct only on what is useful. He says, "In these days the most useful thing we can do is to repudiate – and so we repudiate" (10.58).
    • Arkady agrees with him, and Pavel asks if he means everything. Bazarov says yes, he means everything.
    • Pavel is shocked. Arkady glows with satisfaction.
    • Nikolai meekly chirps in that it is all well to destroy everything, "But one must construct too, you know" (10.64).
    • Bazarov retorts that "The ground must be cleared first" (10.65).
    • Arkady says, "The present condition of the people requires it" (10.66). Bazarov doesn't quite agree with him, thinking Arkady is too taken in by philosophy and romanticism, but at this moment he sees no reason to contradict him.
    • Pavel exclaims that these two know nothing about the Russian people. He says, "They hold traditions sacred, they are a patriarchal people – they cannot live without faith" (10.68).
    • Bazarov thinks Pavel is right, but that this too proves nothing. He says that he's willing to go against his own people.
    • Pavel snaps, "No, you are no Russian after what you have just said! I must decline to recognize you as a Russian" (10.75).
    • With pride, Bazarov says that his grandfather tilled Russian soil. He says that Pavel doesn't even know how to talk to the peasants.
    • Pavel retorts, "While you talk to them and despise them at the same time" (10.77). Bazarov readily admits that this is true.
    • Pavel says that nihilists are useful, and Bazarov says that's not for them to say. He says that Pavel's not one to criticize since he considers himself quite an important person in the world.
    • Nikolai, worried things are getting out of control, begs them not to bring their personalities into the argument (attacking each other directly instead of just arguing about issues).
    • Pavel re-assures his brother that things are all right. Condescendingly, he addresses "Dr." Bazarov and tells him that his ideas are not new. He says, "The materialism you preach has gained currency more than once and has always proved bankrupt" (10.83).
    • Bazarov is beginning to lose his temper. He argues that the nihilists don't preach anything.
    • In an angry attempt to explain himself, he says that they realized how little work their talk was doing, how even the emancipation of the serfs had little effect since the serfs were happy enough to swindle themselves just to buy more gin at the liquor store.
    • The nihilists chose not to act, "to confine ourselves to abuse" (10.92).
    • Bazarov is suddenly frustrated with himself for having spoken so freely in front of members of the upper class.
    • Pavel presses the question of action. He asks how the nihilists can go on destroying everything without even knowing why.
    • Arkady says, "We destroy because we are a force [...] and therefore not accountable to anyone" (10.101, 103).
    • Pavel looks at his nephew and laughs.
    • Pavel erupts in anger at the two of them. He laughs at the idea of a force and says, "there are only four men and a half of you, whereas the others number millions who won't let you trample their most sacred beliefs underfoot – it is they who will crush you" (10.104).
    • Bazarov says they will have to wait and see. He quips, "A penny candle, you know, set Moscow on fire" (10.107).
    • Pavel says, "First an almost Satanic pride, then gibes – so that is what attracts the young, that is what wins the inexperienced hearts of boys!" (10.108)
    • Pavel mocks the artists who refuse to go into the Vatican and see Raphael, but have no imagination of their own. Bazarov says he agrees with them, but thinks they are no better than Raphael.
    • Pavel points out that in order to be educated young men used to have to work and study, "But now they need only say, 'Everything in the world is rubbish!' – and the trick's done" (10.110).
    • Bazarov snaps, "Your vaunted sense of your own dignity has let you down" (10.111). He says he will agree when Pavel names one social institution that is not worthy of repudiation.
    • Pavel names the Peasant Commune and then the family of peasants. With scathing condescension, Bazarov tells him that he should take some more time to think.
    • Arkady has turned red at Bazarov's insolence, but the two of them go to leave and dissect frogs.
    • Pavel is furious. Nikolai, with a sigh, thinks of a time when he said to his mother, "Of course, you cannot understand me: we belong to two different generations" (10.121). He thinks, "You see, now our turn has come, and our successors say to us, 'You are not of our generation: swallow your pill'" (10.121).
    • Pavel thinks he is far too modest, that they are much more in the right than these conceited young men.
    • Fenichka, hearing the argument has ended, comes out to serve them tea. Nikolai tells her to put the samovar (an ornate container for hot water) away. Pavel retires to his study.
  • Chapter 11

    • Nikolai goes wandering in the garden, depressed by the distance he observes between his son and himself.
    • He agrees with Pavel that the old men are more in the right than the boys, but he thinks that perhaps the youth have something on them too. He thinks it may have something to do with how little exposure the young had to the serf-owning mentality.
    • What he really can't understand is how they can have no feeling for art or nature.
    • Nikolai looks out on the evening: the setting sun and the aspen trees, a peasant riding a white pony, and a clump of bees. He resigned himself to "the mournful consolation of solitary thought" (11.5).
    • He thinks back to when his wife was a young girl. They first met on the stairs and he muttered "Pardon, Monsieur" and she blushed (11.5).
    • He wonders "Why could not one live those first sweet moments deathlessly for ever?" (11.5).
    • Just then Fenichka appears, calling his name. He is disappointed that she interrupted his fantasy of his wife, and he thinks, "Her voice was an immediate reminder of his grey hairs, his age, his life now..." (11.8).
    • Nikolai, like a typical serf-owner, dismisses her. He plans to follow her into the house, but walks into the garden for a bit first to work off his restless energy. He sheds a few tears and is embarrassed.
    • Nikolai bumps into Pavel in the garden. He briefly tells him why he is upset and then walks away. Pavel grows thoughtful and looks up at the sky, but he is "not capable of reverie" (11.14).
    • Bazarov tells Arkady that they should go to visit Nikolai's rich relative, even if Nikolai doesn't want to go. He says after that he will have to visit his parents, who he has not seen in a long time, but he thinks that he will not stay long because it will be dull.
    • Arkady is delighted at the suggestion, but hides his emotions because "he was not a nihilist for nothing" (11.23).
    • The younger servants are sad when the two of them leave, but Nikolai and Pavel are greatly relieved.
  • Chapter 12

    • The town that Bazarov and Arkady go to visit is overseen by a young governor. He considers himself a progressive, but there is something of the despot in him, and he has a reputation for quarrelling with all sorts of officials.
    • When word reached Petersburg of the governor's behavior, they sent Matvei Ilyich Kolyazin to investigate. Kolyazin is the son of the guardian to the two Kirsanov brothers.
    • Kolyazin can put on the face of being an affable fellow, but he is highly ambitious, knows how to speak in high society, and can throw his weight around within his own domain.
    • Kolyazin greets Arkady warmly, but is surprised that Nikolai and Pavel did not come. He says, "Your father always was a queer fish" (12.2).
    • As if to amuse himself, Kolyazin turns and yells "What?" at one of his lower officials (12.2). The man jumps up at attention, but as soon as he does, Kolyazin ignores him.
    • The narrator notes that, though Kolyazin claims to be a liberal, he is above all a higher official and enjoys the practice of startling and humiliating his subordinates.
    • Kolyazin tells Arkady that he should go to see the governor in an effort to make connections around town. He offers to take Arkady under his wing and will bring him to a ball the next evening where he can meet some young women.
    • The superintendent of the Provincial Treasury enters as Arkady withdraws.
    • After some convincing, Bazarov agrees to go see the governor with Arkady. The governor is a man who is constantly in a "fuss and hurry," and he confuses their names, takes them for brothers, and calls them "Messieurs Kaisarov" (12.20). All the same, he invites them to his ball, which was the goal.
    • As they're walking back, a man named Herr Sitnikov sees Bazarov from his carriage and begins calling his name.
    • Sitnikov announces that he has come with his father on business. After hearing that Bazarov was in town, he spent all day looking for him.
    • When Bazarov introduces Sitnikov and Arkady, Sitnikov announces that he is a disciple of Bazarov's. Observing him, Arkady thinks that he has a look as if he is "permanently astonished," and he has "a sort of abrupt, wooden laugh" (12.28).
    • Sitnikov tells Bazarov that there is a lady he must meet, Madame Kukshin. She has separated from her husband, and, though she is not pretty, he thinks that she will give them free champagne.
    • Arkady is going to let the two of them go, but Sitnikov says that all three of them must visit her for lunch. He promises three bottles of champagne, and says he'll answer for that with his own head.
    • Bazarov jokes that his father's money-bags would be better, and the three of them proceed to Madame Kukshin's place.
  • Chapter 13

    • Sitnikov, Bazarov, and Kirsanov go to Madame Kukshin's, where they are greeted by a companionable fellow wearing a cap (a sure sign that Madame Kukshin is a progressive lady).
    • When Sitnikov introduces Bazarov, Madame Kukshin thinks that she knows him. Bazarov frowns.
    • Although Madame Kukshin is not an ugly woman, her expressions are unnatural, and "it always struck one that it was the opposite of what she wanted to do" (13.9).
    • Yevdoxia (first name of Madame Kukshin) offers them cigars, and Sitnikov promptly requests food and a bottle of champagne to go with them.
    • Laughing, Yevdoxia says Sitnikov can't possibly consider himself a liberal when he's a sybarite (one who is devoted to luxury or pleasure).
    • Bazarov disagrees with her and says that meat is better than bread, even from the point of view of chemistry. Yevdoxia seizes on the opportunity for conversation and tells him that she is also interested in chemistry and that she has designed a new adhesive.
    • Madame Kukshin stars pouring out questions. She wants to know what Bazarov knows about women's liberation, and she wants to know what Arkady does.
    • Arkady announces "I don't do anything" (13.20). She laughs.
    • As they begin smoking, Madame Kukshin tells Victor that she is upset with him for going around praising George Sand (French novelist and feminist), who she thinks is out of date.
    • Madame Kukshin asks Bazarov to sit next to her on the sofa. She says she is afraid of him because he is such a critic, and goes on talking about how unfortunate it is that she had to settle in such an unbearable little town.
    • Bazarov says he has no problem with it, but she says that it's nothing like Moscow. She tells him she's thinking of going abroad to Paris and then Heidelberg. She begins name-dropping, but he doesn't know what she's talking about.
    • The maid comes in with lunch, and as she sets it out, Bazarov asks if there are any pretty women in the town.
    • Madame Kukshin says that there are a few, such as Madame Odintsov. She says he wouldn't be interested though because "she has no independence of outlook, no breadth, nothing" (13.43).
    • Sitnikov delights in making scathing comments and says that none of the women in town could even understand their current conversation.
    • Bazarov, however, says it doesn't matter if pretty women understand them.
    • Madame Kukshin asks if he is a follower of Proudhon (a French philosopher who thought anarchy is the goal of the free development of society). Bazarov says he doesn't need to follow anyone because he has ideas of his own.
    • Kukshin keeps trying to stand up for feminist thinkers while Sitnikov delights in putting her down. When she says that she is merely speaking "for the rights of women which I have sworn to defend to the last drop of my blood," Sitnikov admits that he supports her conviction (13.54).
    • Kukshin accuses Sitnikov of being a Slavophile, a despot in disguise who loves the whip.
    • Bazarov says that a whip is an excellent thing and that they've gotten "to the last drop..." (13.59). Kukshin thinks he is going to say "of blood," but he is only referring to the champagne.
    • Kukshin says she can't stand to hear women attacked, and then suggests they speak of love. Bazarov ignores her and asks about Madame Odintsov. Sitnikov butts in that "she's charming," but "not sufficiently advanced yet" (13.65).
    • They all get very drunk, though Kukshin and Sitnikov do most of the talking. When the two of them gather by the piano and begin doing Seymour Schiff's ballad Granada lies slumbering, Arkady snaps, "Gentleman, this is approaching Bedlam" (that is, chaos) (13.68).
    • With a yawn, Bazarov stands up and he and Arkady begin to leave.
    • Sitnikov jumps up. He wants to know what Bazarov thinks of Kukshin, whom Sitnikov calls "a highly moral phenomenon" (13.70).
    • Bazarov asks if Sitnikov's father's liquor store is a moral phenomenon, and Sitnikov lets out a shrill laugh to hide the fact that he is embarrassed.
  • Chapter 14

    • Matvei Ilyich is a big success at his ball. He makes conversation with everyone, introduces Arkady around as his "young nephew," and even greets Bazarov, Sitnikov, and Kukshin despite the fact that they are shabbily dressed.
    • The officers dance indefatigably (without tiring) whereas the civilians tend to bunch up along the walls.
    • Since Arkady is a bad dancer and Bazarov does not dance, they take their place on the wall beside Sitnikov.
    • After a few minutes, Sitnikov points out to Arkady that Madame Odintsov has entered. Arkady is taken back by her beauty and grace. Bazarov is also impressed.
    • Sitnikov goes to introduce him, but when they approach it becomes apparent that Sitnikov does not actually know her very well.
    • When Madame Odintsov hears that Arkady is Nikolai's son, she says that she is pleased to meet him. A moment later, an aide-de-camp approaches and asks her for the next dance. She agrees.
    • Arkady, just to make small talk, asks if she dances. She wonders if he thinks her too old to dance, and he says she's misunderstood him. He asks her for the mazurka (traditional Russian dance), and she says "Certainly" (14.17).
    • Watching how graceful she is with the aide-de-camp, Arkady can't take his eyes off of her. He thinks that "he had never yet met such a fascinating woman," and that "her every movement was wonderfully flowing and natural" (14.18).
    • When Odintsov returns, Arkady is shy. After a moment, though, he senses how calm she is and begins talking to her at length – telling her all about his uncles and his life. Their conversation is interrupted from time to time when other young men ask her to dance.
    • Odintsov asks about Bazarov, and Arkady begins speaking of him so favorably that she turns and looks at him. When she stands up to go, she tells him that when he visits her he must bring Bazarov with him.
    • She says, "I am very curious to meet a man who has the courage not to believe in anything" (14.25).
    • Arkady bows to her as she goes out, and, as soon as she does, he bets that she has forgotten his existence; he "was conscious of an exquisite humility flooding his soul" (14.26).
    • When Arkady returns, Bazarov teases him about Madame Odintsov. Arkady doesn't understand his meaning, but tells him that he is going to bring him along when they go to visit her. It is clear that Bazarov is also somewhat smitten with her.
    • He says, "She's got a pair of shoulders the like of which I haven't set eyes on for a long while" (14.33).
    • Arkady tries to disagree with his friend, but, as is often the case, he doesn't say exactly what is bothering him.
    • Instead, he says, "Why are you unwilling to allow that women are capable of independence of thought?" (14.35).
    • Bazarov says it's because his observations have led him to "conclude that free-thinking women are monstrosities" (14.36).
    • The two of them depart. Madame Kukshin is a bit hurt by the fact that they ignored her all night, and stays later than anyone else. The ball ends with her and Sitnikov dancing the polka-mazurka.
  • Chapter 15

    • As Bazarov and Arkady approach Madame Odintsov's hotel, Bazarov says, "Let us see to what species of mammal this specimen belongs" (15.1).
    • Arkady misunderstands him, thinking that he is insulting Madame Odintsov. The truth is that he's quite intrigued.
    • When a servant lets them in to her apartment, Arkady is surprised to see that Bazarov is nervous, whereas Odintsov is just as self-possessed as she was the day before. Bazarov thinks to himself "What an idea – frightened of a petticoat!" (15.4).
    • Anna Sergeyevna Odintsov (Madame Odintsov's full name) is the daughter of Sergei Nikolayevich Loktev. He was a formidable society figure in Petersburg and Moscow, renowned for his good looks.
    • However, he ruined himself at cards and had to retire to the country, where he died, leaving Anna and her sister Katya only a small inheritance. Their mother had already died.
    • Anna was in a difficult position. Her university education had not prepared her to run an estate in the country and she knew no one in town.
    • She promptly wrote to her aunt, Princess Avdotya Stepanovna X., who came and lived with her nieces, though she was a spiteful and arrogant old lady.
    • Anna dealt with the situation well and looked after her sister's education. She was about to resign herself to a life in the country when she met "a certain Odintsov, a very wealthy man of about forty-six, an eccentric hypochondriac, bloated, ponderous and sour but neither stupid nor ill-natured" (15.5).
    • After six years, Odintsov died and left her and Katya his entire fortune. They went abroad to Germany for a while, but grew homesick and returned to Nikolskoye, a small village outside the town Arkady and Bazarov are visiting.
    • There had been a public outcry when she married Odintsov, and everyone in town gossiped about her, saying that she helped her father with his gambling and that she had to go abroad to avoid a scandal.
    • Though Anna heard all this gossip "she turned a deaf ear: she had an independent and pretty determined character" (15.5).
    • Back in the present, Madame Odintsov sits back and listens to Bazarov. Arkady is surprised to hear how much Bazarov is speaking. He is nervous and is trying to make an impression on Odintsov, which flatters her.
    • Bazarov avoids talking about his extreme views and instead discusses medicine, homeopathy, and botany.
    • Madame Odintsov turns the conversation to music, but quickly realizes that Bazarov has no interest in art. They talk freely for three hours, and through it all she continues to treat Arkady "like a younger brother: she seemed to value his good nature and youthful simplicity – and that was all" (15.6).
    • When the conversation ends, Odintsov invites them to her place at Nikolskoye. Arkady gratefully accepts, and is surprised to see that as Bazarov bows in agreement, he is blushing.
    • Outside, Bazarov tries to act tough. He says, "look what an icicle she has made of herself," but then goes on "What a magnificent body! Shouldn't I like to see it on the dissecting-table!" (15.13, 18).
    • Arkady doesn't like it when he seems to speak ill of her and is very impressed with everything about Madame Odintsov.
    • Bazarov says that they must not procrastinate, and, three days later, they are in a carriage to Nikolskoye.
    • As they ride, Bazarov mentions that it is his name day, and he says, "We'll see how my patron saint will watch over me" (15.24).
    • He notes that his family expects him home today, but he says that they can wait.
  • Chapter 16

    • The Odintsov's house is very nice and traditional, made in the classical Alexandrine style according to the late Monsieur Odintsov's specifications.
    • Inside, Bazarov and Arkady find that the house is well staffed and managed. Bazarov asks a servant for a glass of vodka while they wait.
    • Arkady thinks she is very kind to have invited the two of them to her house, and Bazarov notes that it's especially kind in his case since he is merely the son of a "village sexton" (16.8). They wonder if they should not have dressed more nicely.
    • After half an hour, they go back into the drawing room where they find Madame Odintsov waiting. Seeing a picture of her dead husband, which "seemed to stare disapprovingly at the visitors," Bazarov suggests jokingly that they make a bolt for it (16.10).
    • Madame Odintsov thanks them for coming, and announces that she lives with her younger sister and her old aunt. A neighbor is coming over shortly to play cards.
    • As they sit down, Madame Odintsov begins discussing Arkady's mother with him. It turns out that her mother was friendly with Arkady's before she died.
    • Bazarov sits there, looking through albums and thinking that he has become a "tame cat" (16.12).
    • A few minutes later, Katya comes running into the room, and Odintsov introduces her.
    • Katya curtsies and their dog, Fifi, goes up and greets the visitors. As Anna makes small talk with her sister, the narrator notes that Katya is "still innocently fresh," and that "she was constantly blushing and apt to catch her breath" (16.19, 20).
    • Madame Odintsov turns to Bazarov and tells him that he is only looking at the albums out of politeness and that he really must come over and sit with them so they can start an argument about something.
    • Bazarov is surprised that she considers herself argumentative. Madame Odintsov says he must simply ask Katya if he wants confirmation of that.
    • To start the argument, Bazarov says that she thinks he couldn't enjoy the pictures of the Swiss Alps because he has no appreciation for art. Yet he says they retain interest from a "geological standpoint" (16.31).
    • He goes on "A drawing shows me at one glance something that takes ten pages of text to describe" (16.33).
    • Madame Odintsov asks how Bazarov can possibly get on without any appreciation for art.
    • He asks her what its use is in the first place and she says "Well, at least to help one to know and understand people" (16.37).
    • Bazarov argues that people are not so very different from one another, "like trees in a forest: no botanist would dream of studying each individual birch-tree" (16.39).
    • Katya looks up at Bazarov with confusion, then blushes.
    • Madame Odintsov asks him, then, if there is no difference between a smart and a stupid person, between a good and a bad one.
    • He says that there is, but it's analogous to the difference between the sick and the healthy. He suggests that they should "reform society and there will be no diseases" (16.42).
    • After bickering with Bazarov for a moment, Madame Odintsov asks what Arkady thinks. He says that he agrees with Bazarov.
    • Madame Odintsov says that they amaze her with their opinions but that they must stop the discussion because her aunt is coming down.
    • Her aunt, the Princess, quickly slumps into a chair and begins complaining about how she couldn't sleep on account of Fifi. Katya puts the dog outside and prepares tea for everyone, serving her aunt first.
    • Arkady and Bazarov realize that everyone is respectful to the Princess, but at the same time they more or less ignore her.
    • When the Odintsov's neighbor, Porfiry Platonych, appears, Madame Odintsov requests that Bazarov join them at cards. She warns him, however, that he will lose.
    • As for Arkady, she tells Katya to play him something. The two of them go to the piano only reluctantly, and Arkady feels like Madame Odintsov is trying to get rid of him; "he felt that vague, oppressive excitement in the heart which is the foretaste of love" (16.61).
    • After a brief discussion, Katya decides to play Mozart's Sonata Fantasia in C minor for Arkady. At first, she is stiff and mechanical but as the piece continues she begins to put some motion into it.
    • Arkady is struck by the end of the sonata, "the part where the bewitching gaiety of the careless melody is suddenly invaded by gusts of such mournful, almost tragic grief" (16.69).
    • Arkady thinks, though, that his admiration has more to do with Mozart than with Katya. All the same, he notes that she does not play badly and that she is fairly attractive.
    • When Arkady tries to discuss Mozart with Katya, she becomes withdrawn. He has to call Fifi over and pet the dog in order to give himself the appearance of being at ease. Katya goes back to working on her flowers.
    • At cards, Bazarov loses more than he would like to, just like Madame Odintsov predicted.
    • At dinner, she asks Bazarov to take her on a walk the next morning in order to teach her the Latin names for flowers.
    • When he asks why she wants to know that, she says, "System is needed in everything" (16.74).
    • When the two of them are alone in their rooms, they both begin singing Anna Sergeyevna's (Madame Odintsov's given name and patronymic) praises. Yet after a moment Bazarov says that he prefers Katya to Anna. Arkady is confused, and, as he climbs into bed, he is left "pondering his own thoughts" (16.81).
    • Anna Sergeyevna is also thinking about her guests as she prepares for bed. There is something about Bazarov that excites her curiosity.
    • The narrator says that Anna Sergeyevna is a strange woman. She is by turns curious and indifferent, subversive and conventional. Perhaps if she had not had such an easy life she would have pursued some great passion.
    • For now, though, "Her soul would be filled with sudden daring and begin to seethe with noble aspirations; but then a draught would blow from a half-open window and Anna Sergeyvna would shrink back into herself, feel plaintive and almost angry, and at that instant the one thing she cared for beyond all others was to get away from that abominable draught" (16.83).
    • The narrator thinks that, "like all women who have not succeeded in falling in love she hankered after something without knowing what it was" (16.84). Her dislike of her first husband had gradually bloomed into a dislike for all men.
    • As she nods off in her luxurious bed, she keeps thinking about how strange Bazarov is. She falls asleep "all pure and cold in her pure and fragrant linen" (16.86).
    • The next day, Arkady stays with Katya while Bazarov goes walking with Madame Odintsov. When they return, Arkady feels a pang in his heart. He sees Madame Odintsov twirling a wild flower, and he thinks that Bazarov looks as calm and confident as ever.
    • He is only more insulted when Bazarov comes in and mumbles a greeting to him before wandering off. Madame Odintsov, likewise, simply presses his hand before walking past him.
  • Chapter 17

    • The chapter opens, "Time (as we all know) sometimes flies like a bird and sometimes crawls like a snail; but man is happiest when he does not even notice whether time is passing quickly or slowly" (17.1).
    • Arkady and Bazarov pass a fortnight (two weeks) at Madame Odintsov's in this manner. They gradually become accustomed to the regime that she maintains in the house.
    • Bazarov disapproves of the elegance and the structure of Madame Odintsov's life, which he calls "gliding along rails" (17.1).
    • Yet when he speaks out to her on the subject, she simply responds that, without all the little comforts, a country woman would die of boredom.
    • Bazarov is not acting like himself. He is easily irritated and sometimes reluctant to talk while Arkady, out of love for Madame Odintsov, "started to abandon himself to a gentle melancholy" (17.1).
    • Arkady settles for Katya's company, since he has no idea how to approach Madame Odintsov, and she shows no interest in him. Katya understands what is going on, but the two of them become friends nonetheless and have many things in common.
    • Since Arkady and Bazarov are each spending time with their respective girls, they spend less time together. Bazarov speaks to Arkady less and less, but Arkady makes no comment on it.
    • Bazarov senses that there is a change taking place in him, but if anyone were to point it out, he would laugh them down. As much as he admires female beauty, he has no interest whatsoever in the romantic notion of love.
    • When Bazarov realizes that Madame Odintsov will not be an easy sexual conquest, he considers turning away from her, but finds that is impossible. As much as he tries to hide it, there is a romantic strain within him. He is furious with himself for not being able to control his "shameful thoughts" (17.3).
    • As for Madame Odintsov, Bazarov interests her and she thinks about him frequently.
    • One day they are walking in the garden, and Bazarov announces that he is going to leave.
    • Though he had not intended to produce a reaction in Madame Odintsov, she goes completely white.
    • The truth is that his father's bailiff, Timofeich, came to visit him and told him that his parents were "expecting and expecting. It makes your heart ache to see them, really and truly it does" (17.18).
    • Bazarov told him to take it easy with the agony and that he would visit very soon.
    • In the evening, Madame Odintsov sits beside Bazarov while Arkady listens to Katya playing the piano. The princess is upstairs since she cannot abide (tolerate) "these new young imbeciles" (17.22).
    • Madame Odintsov asks how Bazarov can leave after promising to give her chemistry lessons. He recommends a book, though she says that there is no replacement for a good teacher.
    • She presses him on the subject of why he must go. Bazarov says he is certain no one will miss him once he's gone, and that, truth be told, he is "a staid, uninteresting individual" (17.40).
    • Madame Odintsov persists that she will miss him when he's gone. Yet Bazarov replies that her life is far too orderly for her to miss him long. She can't stand big disturbances.
    • She tells him the truth is that she is unhappy because "I have no desire, no longing for life" (17.84).
    • Bazarov pretends not to understand. She says that she begins to feel old, that there are "so many memories and so little worth remembering" (17.87).
    • She thinks that if she could just attach herself to something...
    • Bazarov cuts her off and says that she wants to fall in love, but she can't. She asks if he thinks her incapable of love, and he says probably. He says the person who is really to be pitied is the one who falls in love.
    • She asks how he knows that, and he becomes angry and says it is "hearsay" (17.97).
    • Bazarov thinks that she is teasing him and his heart is about to burst.
    • He says that she is probably too demanding, but that he is surprised she has not found what she wants.
    • He says that he thinks the key is "to know how to give oneself" (17.104).
    • Madame Odintsov thinks Bazarov sounds as if he has experienced it all, but he says, "No, words, idle words arising out of our conversation: as you know, all that is not in my line" (17.107).
    • She asks him if he would be able to give himself completely, and he says he isn't sure.
    • Madame Odintsov comments on how late Katya is playing. As soon as he has the chance, Bazarov gets up to go. She asks him to stay and talk with her longer, but he squeezes her hand and gives her a brusque goodnight.
    • After he leaves, she is all out of sorts. She thinks that he squeezed her hand so tightly that she might have screamed, and almost gets up to follow him out before deciding to sit there motionless.
    • When Bazarov returns to his room, he's in a foul mood. Arkady comments that he was up late with Anna Sergeyevna, but Bazarov says only as late as he was up playing piano with Katya.
    • Arkady begins to say that Bazarov was not playing, but stops.
    • "He felt tears welling to his eyes and he did not want to weep in front of his sarcastic friend" (17.122).
  • Chapter 18

    • At morning tea the next day, Bazarov does not look at Madame Odintsov for a long time. She retreats to her room, and then returns for lunch.
    • Arkady begins reading from the journal at lunch, which shocks the princess, though he pays no attention to her.
    • Finally, Anna Sergeyevna asks Bazarov to come to her room so she can write down the name of that chemistry textbook.
    • The princess, again, is appalled, but Arkady pretends not to notice. Arkady and Katya exchange glances and he goes on reading.
    • In her room, Madame Odintsov asks for the title of the book. When Bazarov begins to give it to her, she stops him. She tells him that the truth is she wanted to continue their conversation from yesterday.
    • He rudely asks what they were discussing and she says happiness. She asks why when one is enjoying a beautiful evening or a good companion "it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness" (18.10).
    • Bazarov retorts with the saying "Happiness is where we are not" (18.12). He claims that no such thoughts ever enter his head.
    • Madame Odintsov says she has wanted to have a frank conversation with him for a long time. She wants to know about his life and where he grew up. She thinks that he has far too much ambition to just be a country doctor.
    • He replies, "I am not in the habit of talking about myself, and between you and me there is such a gulf" (18.25).
    • She tries to get him to speak of the future and he says, "Why this eagerness to talk and think about the future, which for the most part does not depend on us?" (18.27).
    • Madame Odintsov replies that perhaps they can talk about what is happening in him now, but Bazarov thinks "happening" is an absurd expression.
    • He says that anyway a man can't always be expected to speak what is in his heart. She says that she does not see why not, and he tells her that she is more fortunate than he.
    • Anna Sergeyevna persists that all of his constraint cannot be for nothing. She thinks that his reserve will eventually disappear.
    • Bazarov stands up and goes to the window. He says that he will tell her the reason for his reserve if she will not be angry.
    • He says, "Let me tell you then that I love you idiotically, madly... There, you have forced that out of me" (18.45).
    • Bazarov is trembling, not out of timidity or relief but out of anger with himself.
    • She begins to mutter his name, and he suddenly turns to her and takes her in both hands.
    • She says, "You have misunderstood me" (18.50). Bazarov bites his lip and storms out of the room.
    • Later, he sends her a note asking if he should leave that evening or if he can stay until tomorrow. She returns a note telling him to stay and saying that they did not understand one another. Privately, she thinks that she did not understand herself.
    • Anna Sergeyevna wonders why she forced Bazarov's declaration. She realizes that she is to blame and blushes when she thinks of Bazarov's "animal expression" when he grabbed her (18.53).
    • She closes by thinking that this was not something to trifle with, and that above all one must value the quiet life.
    • As the narrator closes, "The pressure of various vague emotions – the sense of life passing by, a longing for novelty – had forced her to a certain limit, forced her to look behind her – and there she had seen not even an abyss but only a void... chaos without shape" (18.56).
  • Chapter 19

    • As confident as she normally is, Madame Odintsov is ill at ease when she comes to dinner. Fortunately, the neighbor, Porfiry Platonych, comes and he speaks incessantly.
    • Arkady speaks to Katya and tries to be polite to the Princess. Madame Odintsov looks in Bazarov's direction several times, but finds that he looks stern and forbidding.
    • After dinner, everyone is walking in the garden and Bazarov gestures for her to come to the side. He thinks that she is very angry with him and tells her that he must be going tomorrow.
    • He tells her that the only way he could stay is if she loved him as he loves her. When she sees his intense look, she thinks that she is afraid of this man.
    • For the rest of the afternoon, Anna Sergeyevna keeps Katya by her side and tries to disguise how upset she is. Bazarov locks himself in his room. She wants to comfort him but doesn't know how.
    • The only thing that interrupts the situation is the unexpected arrival of Victor Sitnikov. It is very rude of Sitnikov to come uninvited. At first, he stumbles when trying to explain himself to Anna Sergeyevna. He begins making excuses for why he is there, but gradually gains confidence.
    • With his arrival, things become simpler and easier. People almost enjoy dinner and then retire to bed early.
    • When Arkady and Bazarov are alone in their room, Arkady asks why Bazarov is so melancholy.
    • Bazarov announces that he is off to his father's room tomorrow. When Arkady again asks why Bazarov is depressed, he says, "Too much knowledge, and your hair will go grey" (19.20).
    • Arkady asks if Anna Sergeyevna will let Bazarov go, and Bazarov says it's not her decision.
    • After a pause, Arkady announces that he will also leave tomorrow except that he will go home.
    • Bazarov shows no interest in why Arkady would also leave. Arkady thinks to himself that he would like to stay but that it would not make sense after Bazarov departs.
    • He whispers into his pillow that he will miss Katya. Then he says, "What the devil made that idiotic Sitnikov turn up here?" (19.34).
    • Bazarov, staring at the ceiling, says that the Sitnikovs of the world are necessary. He says, "I need such louts. It is not for the gods to have to bake bricks!" (19.36).
    • Arkady looks at Bazarov and "only then in a flash did all the fathomless depths of Bazarov's conceit dawn upon him" (19.37). He asks if he is merely one of the louts and Bazarov confirms that he is just a fool.
    • The next day, Katya looks serious when Arkady announces that he will leave. The Princess crosses herself in thanks in front of all the others.
    • Sitnikov, for his part, is just coming down for breakfast. He isn't sure what to do since he is being abandoned by his friends, and announces that he too will leave.
    • Sitnikov offers Arkady a ride home in his carriage. Arkady tries to side-step the offer, but Anna Sergeyevna murmurs "Don't wound Monsieur Sitnikov by refusing" (19.46).
    • When they say goodbye, Madame Odintsov asks Bazarov if they will see one another again. He says only if she wishes it, and she says that means that they shall.
    • While the carriages are being prepared, Arkady goes up to Bazarov and asks to go to his place. Bazarov growls assent.
    • Sitnikov is taken aback at Arkady's rudeness but there is nothing he can do. He yells at two passing peasants to blow off steam and the next day, at Madame Kukshin's, he will speak of "nasty, stuck-up, ignorant fellows" (19.53).
    • Arkady presses Bazarov's hand in consolation for whatever is bothering him, and Bazarov seems to appreciate it.
    • Bazarov asks for a cigar, but then thinks that he can't handle it. He flings it onto the road.
    • Arkady asks how long it is to Bazarov's, but the driver, Fiodr, tells him that miles don't get measured out in these parts.
    • Bazarov says that their experience at Madame Odintsov's must be a lesson to them. He says, "We've both of us behaved like fools. What's the use of talking about it! But I noticed when I was working in hospital – the patient who's furious at his illness is sure to get over it" (19.65).
    • Arkady doesn't know what he is talking about.
    • Bazarov explains that they got too comfortable in the society of women, that it was time for a break.
    • He asks the driver if he has a wife, and the driver says yes. He asks if he beats her, and the driver says only when she deserves it.
    • Bazarov continues by asking if the driver's wife ever beats him. The driver is offended.
    • He says that's the lesson, that they have taken "a proper beating" (19.74). Arkady forces a laugh, and neither one of them talk for the rest of the journey.
    • As they approach Bazarov's home, they hear two peasants swearing at one another. Bazarov warns Arkady that his father's peasants are not too worn down. Then he sees his father, and he thinks "How grey he's grown, poor old chap!" (19.77).
  • Chapter 20

    • As soon as the carriage stops, Bazarov's father begins embracing his son. Then his mother comes running out the front door and collapses into his arms. She is sobbing convulsively.
    • Old Bazarov is embarrassed and tells his wife to tone it down.
    • She says no matter, that it's been too long since she saw Yevgeny, and she again falls on his neck.
    • Old Bazarov (Vassily Ivanych) asks Arkady to excuse his wife's behavior. It is clear, however, that he is having trouble controlling his own emotions.
    • Inside, Bazarov formally introduces his parents, though his mother is still emotional. Vassily Ivanych asks their servant, Tanya, to bring his wife a glass of water. He invites Bazarov and Arkady into his study.
    • Bazarov's mother (Arina) falls on him one last time and comments on how handsome he's grown. Vassily Ivanych agrees that his son now looks like a man.
    • He then tells his wife to prepare the men dinner since "a hungry belly has no ears" (20.17). He leads the young men into his study.
    • The entire house consists of six rooms, one of which is the study. Vassily Ivanych apologizes for their humble quarters, but Bazarov tells him there's no need to apologize to Arkady.
    • Vassily Ivanych announces that they've put a new wing on next to the bath-house.
    • When Vassily Ivanych leaves with the servant Timofeich to make sure all is in order, Bazarov says "There you have him! A comical old chap with a heart of gold. Just as queer a fish as your father, only in a different way. Never stops talking" (20.29).
    • The two of them discuss how kind Bazarov's family is. Timofeich comes in and announces that they don't have beef because they didn't realize they'd be having guests.
    • Bazarov says that's not a problem, that "poverty, they say, is no crime" (20.33).
    • Arkady asks how many serfs Bazarov's father has, and he announces that there are fifteen. Timofeich corrects him. The number is twenty-two.
    • Vassily Ivanych reappears. He tells Arkady that his valet will show him to his room. He asks if Arkady smokes, but when Arkady requests a cigar, he says they are hard to come across in these parts.
    • Bazarov butts in, "There, that's enough of that poor-man stuff" (20.41).
    • Vassily Ivanych sits down and laughs. He says that he's not trying to excite Arkady's sympathy. No, he says, "for a thinking man there is no such thing as a wilderness" (20.43).
    • Vassily Ivanych admits that he's probably not up to date, but that he does all he can to keep up with the times. He has put his peasants on the rent system, but he is more concerned with the sciences and education.
    • He points to a plaster head divided into numbered squares and tells Arkady that he is even studying phrenology (an early brain science that thought the brain had specialized compartments and that one could see the various sizes of them by examining the bumps on a person's skull).
    • When Vassily Ivanych mentions a dated scientist named Rademacher, Bazarov pokes fun at him for still reading that which has passed.
    • Vassily Ivanych calmly says there is no way he can keep up with them from out in the country. He tells him that the people they read with such devotion will, in twenty years, be just as dated as Rademacher.
    • Bazarov says, "Let me tell you by way of consolation that nowadays we laugh at medicine in general, and worship no one" (20.50).
    • Vassily Ivanych asks how that is possible since his son intends to become a doctor, and Bazarov says that the two aren't mutually exclusive.
    • Vassily Ivanych says that he can't say much, that he's nothing but a retired army doctor who has taken up farming. He does say, however, that he got to meet many important people, including Prince Wittgenstein.
    • By contrast, Vassily Ivanych says that Arkady's grandfather was a fine man, a real soldier.
    • Bazarov says, "Confess now, he was a real old dunderhead" (20.55).
    • Vassily Ivanych wonders how his son can say such things, but Bazarov changes the subject. He asks about the copse of birch trees outside.
    • Vassily Ivanych begins to speak proudly of the different kinds of trees he is growing. He says that he has also been growing medicinal herbs. Even though he is retired, people are constantly coming to him for advice.
    • Vassily Ivanych tells a story about a country doctor who went too late to see a patient. The patient was dead when he got there and he simply inquired if he had hiccupped much before he died. Vassily Ivanych is the only one to laugh at his story, though Arkady forces a smile.
    • When the servant Tanya comes to announce that dinner is ready, Vassily Ivanych apologizes if he bored them. He promises that his wife will be better company.
    • The dinner is pretty good even though it was prepared quickly. Arina dotes on her son throughout the meal, hardly paying any attention at all to Arkady. Vassily Ivanych paces about and discusses the policies of Napoleon III and the Italian question. After dinner, he goes and gets a half-bottle of champagne.
    • When they bring out preserves, Bazarov simply lights a cigar. To be polite, Arkady tries all of them even though he can't stand sweet things.
    • After dinner, Vassily takes them out to the garden and shows Arkady his favorite bench: "it is just the spot for a hermit like me" (20.64).
    • He speaks romantically with various references to the classics and Bazarov merely yawns and announces that it is time for bed.
    • After showing Arkady off to bed, Vassily goes to his son's room hoping to have a long chat. Bazarov dismisses him, saying that he is tired, although it will turn out that he doesn't sleep until morning. Instead he "stare[s] angrily into the darkness" (20.70).
    • Arina, for her part, talks the ear off of one of her servants, Anfisushka. She is giddy because of her son's arrival, and when Vassily Ivanych tries to talk to her he gives it up as a bad job.
    • The narrator embarks on a long description of Arina Vlassyevna. He describes her as a true Russian gentlewoman, devout and emotional and superstitious. She never speaks ill of anyone and loves her family dearly.
    • He says, "Nowadays such women as she have ceased to exist. Heaven only knows whether this should be a matter for rejoicing!" (20.20).
  • Chapter 21

    • When Arkady gets out of bed in the morning, he sees Vassily Ivanych dressed in a Turkish-dressing gown and digging away in the garden.
    • They say good morning to one another, and Vassily Ivanych announces that he is making a bed for some turnips. He says, "The time has come now – and thank God for it! – when each one of us must secure his sustenance by the work of his own hands; it is no use relying on others – one must labour oneself" (21.3).
    • Vassily Ivanych tells Arkady that he has already offered medical help to several local peasants that day. He invites Arkady to have some fresh air before going in to tea.
    • Inside, Vassily Ivanych again apologizes for such humble lodgings. Arkady protests that there is no reason to apologize.
    • Vassily Ivanych tells him that he knows a few things, that he's something of a psychologist and a physiognomist. He thinks that if were not adventuresome, he would have come to grief long ago.
    • Vassily Ivanych tells Arkady that he is delighted with his friendship with Bazarov. He asks how long they've known one another, and Arkady says it's been since the last winter.
    • As a father, then, Vassily Ivanych wants to know Arkady's opinion of Bazarov.
    • Arkady tells him, "Your son is one of the most remarkable men I have ever met" (21.10).
    • Vassily Ivanych is thrilled. He has a smile of rapture on his face as Arkady proceeds to speak of Bazarov with complete enthusiasm. When Arkady finishes, he bends down and kisses his shoulder.
    • Vassily Ivanych admits that he absolutely worships his son. He says that there are certain things about his behavior that would be hard to tolerate in some people, but Bazarov is such a great man that he cannot be judged by ordinary standards.
    • Arkady agrees and says, "He's a sincere, single-minded man" (21.20).
    • Vassily Ivanych says his only ambition is to stay out of Bazarov's way and do everything he can to enable his education. He asks Arkady what he thinks Bazarov will do.
    • Arkady says that he'll be a leader in the field of medicine, but surely he'll do something great outside of that.
    • He tells him that he is "bound to be famous" (21.26).
    • The servant Anfisushka appears and announces that it is time for tea.
    • As they are heading in, Vassily Ivanych wonders why Bazarov is not back from his morning walk. Just then, Bazarov appears. Vassily Ivanych announces that he's already had a long conversation with Arkady.
    • He tells him that there is a peasant who's suffering from icterus (yellow skin associated with jaundice), and he'll need his advice later.
    • Vassily Ivanych jumps up and begins singing some lines from a French opera.
    • Bazarov observes that he has "Astonishing vitality" (21.38).
    • Noon comes and Arkady and Bazarov are lying together on the grass in the shadow of a haystack.
    • Pointing to a nearby poplar tree, Bazarov says that when he was a boy he used to think that the tree was some sort of good-luck charm. He could never feel time weighing on him when he was near it.
    • He says, "I did not understand then that the reason time did not hang heavy was because I was a young boy. Well, now I'm grown up, the talisman no longer works" (21.40).
    • Arkady asks how long they lived here, and Bazarov says it was only for a couple years. They traveled a great deal when he was a young.
    • Bazarov tells Arkady that the house was built by his grandfather, who was some sort of army major.
    • Arkady tells Bazarov that he likes his home. It is "cosy and old-fashioned" (21.47).
    • Bazarov says that it's just "a smell of lamp oil and clover" (21.48).
    • Arkady asks if his parents were strict with him as a child, and Bazarov says of course not. He admits that he is fond of his parents, and Arkady says that they absolutely adore him.
    • After a pause, Bazarov says he's amazed at what a happy life his parents lead. They always have something to do, and they enjoy their life on the manor.
    • Speaking of himself in contrast, Bazarov says, "While I think: here I lie under a haystack... The tiny bit of space I occupy is so minute in comparison with the rest of the universe, where I am not and which is not concerned with me; and the period of time in which it is my lot to live is so infinitesimal compared with the eternity in which I have not been and shall not be... And yet here, in this atom which is myself, in this mathematical point, blood circulates, the brain operates and aspires to something too... What a monstrous business! What futility!" (21.58).
    • Arkady points out that this applies to everyone, but Bazarov says that most people are not so preoccupied with their own insignificance.
    • Bazarov is frustrated that Arkady doesn't understand that he is alluding to his failed relationship with Madame Odintsov. He thinks Arkady's view of love is simple and typical.
    • Watching an ant carry off a half-dead fly, Bazarov cheers him on, "Never mind her resistance: avail yourself of your animal right to feel no compassion – not like us poor self-destructive brethren!" (21.64).
    • Bazarov says that the only thing he is proud of is that he has not yet destroyed himself, that he hasn't let a female conquer him.
    • They sit in silence.
    • Bazarov says that men are strange. Watching his parents, you'd think that they couldn't ask for anything more. But he says the problem is that "you die of boredom. One needs people, even if it's only to have someone to swear at" (21.69).
    • Arkady thinks that one can live one's life so that everything is significant. Bazarov says it's even possible to tolerate the insignificant, but that petty troubles are what are really unbearable.
    • Arkady says, "Petty troubles don't exist for the man who refuses to recognize them as such" (21.72).
    • Bazarov says that he has simply taken a platitude (a trite truthful saying) and turned it upside down. It amounts to the same thing.
    • Arkady asks him which side the truth lies on, and Bazarov says, "Like an echo I answer 'Where? Where?'" (21.77).
    • Arkady remarks that he is in a melancholy mood, and suggests that they have a nap.
    • Bazarov tells Arkady not to look at him in his sleep because everyone looks foolish when they sleep.
    • When Arkady remarks that he isn't one to care, Bazarov agrees that a proper man ought not to care. He says that the proper man is either "obeyed or detested" (21.83).
    • Arkady says that he doesn't detest anyone, and Bazarov says that's because he is "a soft-hearted mawkish individual" (21.85). He claims Arkady has no confidence in himself.
    • Arkady interrupts him and asks if Bazarov really has such high confidence in himself.
    • Bazarov says, "When I meet a man who can hold his own with me, then I'll change my opinion of myself" (21.88). He goes on to say that he has begun to detest the poor peasants who he is supposed to make sacrifices for, but who only cheat him and offer no thanks.
    • Arkady says, "Stop it, Yevgeny...to hear you today, one can't help agreeing with those who reproach us for having no principles" (21.89).
    • Bazarov thinks that Arkady is beginning to talk like his uncle. He says that principles don't exist, that all that really exists are feelings, "deeper than that men will never penetrate" (21.92).
    • Arkady is shocked by Bazarov's cynicism, and Bazarov misquotes Pushkin and suggests they go to sleep.
    • Arkady points out that the quote is not from Pushkin.
    • Bazarov goes on by claiming that Pushkin must have been in the army since he was always calling everyone "To arms!"
    • Arkady says that he is simply inventing things, that it's calumny (slander).
    • Bazarov retorts, "Slander a man as much as we like, and he will still deserve twenty times worse in reality" (21.102).
    • Arkady says that they'd better take their nap. Yet neither can sleep; they both had a feeling of something akin to hostility.
    • Arkady says, "Look, a withered maple leaf has come off and is fluttering to the ground: its movements are exactly like a butterfly in flight. Isn't it strange that something so mournful and dead should be like a creature so gay and full of life?" (21.105).
    • Bazarov implores him not to use fancy talk. Arkady thinks that he is tyrannous, that there's no reason not to express a fine idea.
    • Bazarov says that he should be able to say what he thinks, and he thinks Arkady's speech is indecent. Arkady retorts by asking if abusing people is decent.
    • Bazarov says "that idiot" Uncle Pavel would be thrilled if he heard Arkady right now (21.110).
    • Arkady says that Bazarov is being intolerable.
    • Bazarov says that people always cling to family feeling until the bitter end. Arkady says that he spoke out of a sense of justice, not family feeling. Since Bazarov lacks a sense of justice, he wouldn't know what that is.
    • Bazarov sarcastically wonders if Arkady has become too advanced for his understanding. Arkady begs him to stop and says that they are going to quarrel if they continue. Bazarov thinks that they might as well.
    • When Arkady says he's worried they'll finish by... Bazarov breaks in and says "tearing one another to pieces" (21.120).
    • Bazarov stretches out his fingers toward Arkady's neck. Arkady jokingly moves to defend himself, "But the look on his friend's face was so sinister – there seemed to be such real menace in the smile that distorted his lips and in his glinting eyes that he instinctively quailed" (21.121).
    • At that moment, Vassily Ivanych comes out and sees them lying by the haystack. He cheerfully says that lying on the earth and looking up at the heavens is a worthy occupation.
    • Bazarov growls "I only gaze up to heaven when I want to sneeze," and to Arkady, "A pity he interrupted us" (21.123).
    • Arkady tells him to shut up and squeezes his hand, "but no friendship can bear such strain for long" (21.124).
    • Vassily Ivanych says that when he looks down at the two young men and thinks of their physical strength, it reminds him of "Castor and Pollux" (the twins of Leda and Zeus, one of whom was mortal, the other immortal) (21.125).
    • Bazarov tells his father to stop referencing mythology, to stop being so sentimental.
    • Vassily says that he's just come to tell them that dinner is ready. He warns Bazarov that his mother insisted on having Father Alexei come say Thanksgiving Mass and then have dinner with them.
    • Bazarov jokes that he will sit with anyone at table so long as they don't eat his food.
    • What Vassily doesn't tell Bazarov is that he was the one who invited Father Alexei. Yet he tells Bazarov that they'll like one another, that Alexei plays a good game of whist (a trick-taking card game) and occasionally even smokes a pipe.
    • Father and son joke about the old days when Vassily Ivanych used to play cards regularly. Vassily Ivanych sits down with the young men in the sun.
    • He begins to tell them of how sitting in the shade of the haystack reminds him of his days in the army. He says that he'll tell them about his experience at "the plague in Bessarabia" (21.144).
    • He tells Arkady about it, but when he looks down at the end of his story, he sees that his son is asleep.
    • He wakes him and they all go in for dinner.
    • Father Alexei is extremely well-behaved at dinner. He understands that the young men don't desire his blessing or approval, and he manages to crack jokes about religion at the same time that he stands up for it.
    • Arina Vlassyevna dotes on her son throughout dinner. Her eyes "expressed more than tenderness and devotion: there was sadness in them too, mingled with curiosity and awe, and a sort of humble reproach" (21.147).
    • Bazarov plays whist with Father Alexei, who beats him and jokes that he is playing too rashly, in the manner of Napoleon. Bazarov becomes morose and merely shrugs his shoulders in response.
    • When Bazarov and Arkady are alone, Bazarov announces that he must leave. He says that he is bored, he has no place to work, and when he goes to speak with his mother, he finds that he has nothing to say.
    • Arkady points out that they will be upset, but Bazarov says he will stop back again on his way to Petersburg.
    • Arkady says that Bazarov is too harsh on his mother, "she's very clever really" (21.164).
    • Bazarov says, "If a woman can keep up a conversation for half an hour, it's already a good sign. But I'm going all the same" (21.167).
    • Bazarov admits that it will be hard leaving. He mentions that his father flogged one of the peasants the other day. When Arkady looks shocked, Bazarov says that the peasant deserved it.
    • Almost the whole day passes before Bazarov works up the nerve to announce that he is leaving. When he does, Vassily Ivanych almost falters. Bazarov tells him that he will come back soon, but Vassily Ivanych persists "Three days... after three years... it's rather little; rather little, Yevgeny" (21.179).
    • Vassily Ivanych mentions that Bazarov's mother has just set flowers in his room to brighten it up. He doesn't tell him that he has been paying the servant Timofeich each day to go buy little things to make Bazarov's stay more comfortable.
    • Vassily Ivanych says, "Freedom's the important thing. That has always been my principle... one must not get in the way... not..." (21.181).
    • He goes back to his room and begins to pray quietly so as not to wake his wife. She wakes up anyway and says that perhaps they can pull out another bed for Bazarov because she is worried that the one he is currently sleeping on is uncomfortable. Vassily Ivanych cannot bear to tell his wife that their son is leaving in the morning.
    • Bazarov and Arkady leave the next day. The house is gloomy and depressed, though his parents do their best to keep it together. Arina Vlassyevna can't help but weep a bit alone, and, as soon as the two men are gone, Vassily Ivanych slumps and lets his head drop onto his chest.
    • He says, "He has gone, left us. Gone, because he found it dull here with us. I'm a lonely man now, lonely as this finger" (21.190). He separates his forefinger from the rest of his hand.
    • Arina Vlassyevna comes and comforts him. She says that it cannot be helped because Bazarov is an independent person. She says that it's only she that will be with him forever.
    • Then "Vassily Ivanych took his hands from his face and clasped his wife, his friend, more warmly than he had ever done before, even in their youth: she had consoled him in his grief" (21.191).
  • Chapter 22

    • Bazarov and Arkady don't speak as far as Fedot's. Arkady is irritated with Bazarov, and Bazarov is even a bit irritated with himself.
    • Yet, when they reach Fedot's, the carriage driver asks if they should head in the direction of Arkady's home or of Madame Odintsov. Arkady looks at Bazarov and says he knows it is foolish, but why don't they go left?
    • But once they agree to turn, their silence becomes more stubborn than ever.
    • Madame Odintsov is surprised and not particularly excited to see them. Katya stays in her room, and they make small talk with Anna Sergeyevna and the Princess for several hours before leaving.
    • When they leave, Madame Odintsov apologizes for being in a mood and asks them to come again before too long.
    • The two of them bow and then head for Arkady's home at Maryino.
    • At Maryino, everyone is thrilled to see them. Even Uncle Pavel seems excited to see the young wanderers return. They all stay up late, and Nikolai drinks too much wine.
    • The truth, though, is that things have not been going well at Maryino. Nikolai is having a tough time managing the farm. An old woman accidentally burned down half the cattle-sheds, the bailiff (overseer) has become lazy, and the peasants have begun arguing amongst themselves.
    • Nikolai is overwhelmed and often observes to himself, "without the fear of punishment you can do nothing with them!" (22.16). Pavel urges him to be calm.
    • Bazarov does his best to keep apart from all the trouble, and spends all his time in his room with his frogs. Arkady, on the other hand, does his best to help out his father with the farm.
    • To his surprise, Arkady finds that he can't help but keep thinking of Nikolskoye. One day, he finds that his father has kept a number of letters from Madame Odintsov's mother to his wife.
    • As Arkady reads them, he realizes that he has a pretext to return to Nikolskoye. A few days later, he tells everyone that he's going into town to study the Sunday schools, and he returns to Nikolskoye.
    • As he approaches, he becomes apprehensive. He remembers his chilly welcome the last time he came and wonders if he has been rash.
    • Then he sees Katya in the yard. She cries "It's you!" with "a blush gradually suffusing her whole face and neck" (22.18).
    • She takes him to Anna Sergeyvna, who greets him warmly. Arkady tells her that he has brought something for her that she wouldn't expect, but she says, "You have brought yourself; that's better than anything else" (22.22).
  • Chapter 23

    • After Bazarov sees Arkady off, he "shut[s] himself up in complete solitude; a perfect fever for work had come upon him" (23.1).
    • Pavel Petrovich stops arguing with Bazarov. They quarrel only once, on the subject of the Baltic barons, after which Pavel says that there's no point since they cannot understand each other.
    • Bazarov exclaims, "Of course not! Man is capable of understanding everything – the vibration of ether and what's going on in the sun; but why another person should blow his nose differently from him – that, he's incapable of understanding" (23.2).
    • Pavel Petrovich asks if Bazarov is trying to be witty and promptly walks away.
    • At other times, however, Pavel Petrovich comes to see Bazarov and asks him how his experiments are coming. Nikolai Petrovich comes even more often, and the only thing that keeps him from coming more is his work on the farm.
    • Yet Nikolai Petrovich knows that his brother still dislikes Bazarov. One evening, for example, Pavel Petrovich falls very ill. He refuses to call on Bazarov and when Bazarov asks him the next day why he did not seek his assistance, Pavel says, "Surely I remember your saying yourself you have no faith in medicine" (23.4).
    • Though Bazarov is very isolated, there is one person he still speaks openly with, and that person is Fenichka.
    • Fenichka sometimes comes to ask Bazarov for advice about Mitya, and she feels freer with him than with Nikolai Petrovich.
    • When Nikolai is around, though, Fenichka avoids Bazarov out of a sense of decency. She is most worried about Pavel Petrovich, who seems to be spying on her.
    • Fenichka complains to Dunyasha that Pavel Petrovich's presence is "like having a bucket of cold water thrown over me" (23.5). Dunyasha, for her part, has an enormous crush on Bazarov.
    • Bazarov likes Fenichka as much as she likes him.
    • He notices that "Fenichka [grows] prettier every day. There is a season in the lives of young women when they suddenly begin to unfold and bloom like summer roses; such a time had come for Fenichka" (23.6).
    • Fenichka is very pale and the sun often makes her grow weary. Nikolai Petrovich suggests that she bathe more often, but she complains that there is no shade by the pond, and he can do nothing but agree.
    • One morning, Bazarov comes across Fenichka in the arbour (cluster of trees). She is preparing a bouquet of flowers for breakfast.
    • Fenichka tells him that early morning is the only time that she feels alright outside because of the heat. She worries that she is falling ill, and Bazarov offers to take her pulse.
    • When he does, he tells her, "You'll live to be a hundred" (23.16).
    • Fenichka remembers a grandmother who lived that long and became "only a burden to herself" (23.19). She hopes that she doesn't live that long.
    • Fenichka says she much prefers to be young, whereas Bazarov says he doesn't care whether he is young or old. He says, "What good is my youth to me? I live a lonely life, all by myself" (23.26).
    • Fenichka looks at him sideways, and asks what book he is carrying. He tells her it is a very difficult science book. He suggests that she try reading a few lines, and she says there's no way she'd understand it.
    • Bazarov says he's not concerned with whether or not she understands it. He says, "I want to look at you while you read. When you read, the tip of your nose twitches so endearingly" (23.36).
    • Fenichka laughs and throws the book to the ground. Bazarov continues flattering her, and she wonders why he is taken with her when he has spoken with so many clever ladies.
    • He tells her, "Ah, Fenichka, believe me: all the clever ladies in the world aren't worth your little elbow" (23.43).
    • Fenichka tells him that, ever since Bazarov gave those drops to her son Mitya, he has been sleeping soundly. She asks how she can repay him, and he jokes that she can give him money.
    • She doesn't realize that he is kidding, and then he tells her that it is not money that he really wants.
    • When she doesn't know what he's talking about, he asks for one of her roses. Fenichka is flattered and laughs again. She gives him a red rose.
    • Yet, as she does, she becomes frightened. She thinks that she heard Pavel Petrovich in the bushes. She tells Bazarov that she's frightened of him, and laughs at how Bazarov can turn him every which way in an argument.
    • Fenichka says that no one can get the better of Bazarov in an argument and he says, "But I know a little finger that could topple me over like a feather if it wanted to" (23.71).
    • Fenichka again doesn't know what he's talking about. Bazarov asks her to smell the flower with him and when she does, he goes in for a kiss. She pushes back off his chest, but he persists.
    • There is a cough from the bushes and Pavel Petrovich emerges. In a tone of "malicious melancholy," he says to Fenichka, "It is you, then!" (23.77). He walks away.
    • As Fenichka gathers up her things to leave, she asks how Bazarov could do that to her. He feels ashamed for a moment, but then shakes it off and heads back to his room.
    • Pavel Petrovich waits for breakfast by the copse (a small group of trees). When he enters, his face is dark and Nikolai asks what is the matter.
    • He replies, "You know I sometimes suffer from bilious attacks" (23.81).
  • Chapter 24

    • Two hours later, Pavel Petrovich goes to Bazarov's room and interrupts his scientific studies. He wants to know what his opinions are on dueling.
    • Bazarov says, "From the theoretical standpoint, dueling is absurd; but from the practical standpoint – well, that's another matter altogether" (24.8).
    • Pavel Petrovich says that he is relieved. He says that he was in a state of uncertainty, and announces to Bazarov that he has decided to fight him.
    • When Bazarov asks why, he says, "I could explain the reason to you, but I prefer to keep silent about it. To my way of thinking you are not wanted here; I cannot endure you; I despise you" (24.18).
    • Their eyes flash, and Bazarov accepts. Pavel Petrovich says he is relieved because now he will not have to resort to more violent measures (beating Bazarov with his cane).
    • They begin to discuss the conditions of their duel. They decide not to give the exact reason of their debate, to simply say that they cannot endure one another.
    • When Pavel Petrovich suggests they fight the next morning at six behind the copse at ten paces from one another, Bazarov says, "At ten paces? That will do; we can detest one another at that distance" (24.30).
    • They decide to move it to eight paces, and Pavel Petrovich suggests they each leave a letter in their breast pocket in case they die.
    • Bazarov thinks that sounds too much like a French novel. To avoid accusations of murder, they decide to have a witness – the servant Piotr.
    • They agree on the arrangement and, since Bazarov does not have a pistol, Pavel Petrovich offers to loan him one.
    • Pavel Petrovich bids him good day. After Bazarov sees him out, he thinks to himself that they've been acting a ridiculous farce. Yet there was no way he could have refused; "Bazarov pales at the very thought: all his pride reared up within him" (24.49).
    • He wonders what on earth could have infuriated Pavel Petrovich so, and he decides that he is in love with the young Fenichka. Thinking of Arkady and Nikolai Petrovich, Bazarov knows that it's going to be bad business.
    • The next day passes quietly. Pavel Petrovich is exceptionally polite to everyone, and Bazarov begins writing a letter to his father before deciding that he is not going to die anyway.
    • Before going to bed, Bazarov asks Piotr to wake him early. At night, he has confused dreams: "Madame Odintsov kept appearing in them; now she was his mother, she was followed by a kitten with black whiskers and the kitten was Fenichka; then he saw Pavel Petrovich before him, like a huge forest which, for all that, he had to fight" (24.50).
    • The next morning, Piotr wakes him at four and they go out.
    • It is a beautiful morning. Bazarov leads Piotr down behind the copse (cluster of woods) and tells him why they have come there. Piotr goes green with fright even though Bazarov encourages him by telling him, "And just think what an important part you have to play" (24.51).
    • As Bazarov waits for Pavel Petrovich, he keeps thinking of the stupidity of what they're doing. A peasant passes in a carriage and does not doff his hat to Bazarov. Piotr takes this as a bad omen.
    • A moment later, Bazarov looks up and sees Pavel Petrovich coming down the walk. After brief greetings, they decide to proceed.
    • Pavel Petrovich loads the guns while Bazarov measures out the paces since, as he says, "My legs are longer than yours" (24.63).
    • Piotr is trembling and Bazarov tells him he can go behind a tree and blocks his ears so long as he keeps his eyes open.
    • Bazarov draws a line in the ground with his boot to measure the paces. As Pavel Petrovich hands a pistol to Bazarov, Bazarov says, "You must admit, Pavel Petrovich, that our duel is unusual to the point of absurdity? Just look at our second's countenance" (24.69).
    • Pavel Petrovich admits that their duel is strange, but warns Bazarov that he intends to fight him in earnest.
    • Bazarov replies, "Oh, I don't doubt that we are both resolved to annihilate each other, but why shouldn't we laugh too, and combine utile dulci" (to unite the useful with the pleasant) (24.71).
    • They count out their paces and begin. Pavel Petrovich shoots first, aiming straight for Bazarov's nose, but the bullet goes whizzing by his ear.
    • Without aiming, Bazarov fires back and hits Pavel Petrovich in the thigh. He immediately runs over to see if Pavel Petrovich is wounded.
    • Pavel Petrovich says it's no big deal and that he wants to proceed, but Bazarov insists on postponing the duel. The question is settled when Pavel Petrovich blacks out.
    • When he comes to again, Bazarov examines him and shows him that the wound is mainly superficial, touching only one muscle, the vastus externus.
    • Watching on, Piotr thinks that Pavel Petrovich is dying. Bazarov calls on him to fetch some water, and Pavel Petrovich tells him "It was only a momentary vertigo" (24.90).
    • Pavel Petrovich agrees not to resume the duel, and says that, at least today, Bazarov has conducted himself honorably.
    • Bazarov tells him that he will bind up his leg and then make his departure at once. He sends Piotr to fetch a carriage, and Pavel Petrovich warns his servant not to bother Nikolai about it.
    • Pavel Petrovich is ashamed of how he has acted and has trouble making eye contact with Bazarov. Yet he thinks that things have ended fairly favorably, especially because he will be leaving soon.
    • There is some agreement between them, but "such mutual recognition is agreeable between friends but most disagreeable between enemies, especially where it is impossible for them either to thrash things out or to part company" (24.94).
    • They decide to tell Nikolai that they fell out while discussing English politics. Seeing the peasant return, Pavel Petrovich wonders aloud what he could be thinking.
    • Bazarov asks "Does anyone understand him? He does not even understand himself" (24.99).
    • Looking up, they are both dismayed to see that Piotr has returned with Nikolai, who is completely pale-faced.
    • Pavel Petrovich explains that they had an altercation when Bazarov insulted the Englishman Robert Peel. He says, "It was I who challenged him" (24.105).
    • Nikolai is shocked to see blood on his brother's trousers, but Pavel Petrovich says, "And did you suppose I had water in my veins?" (24.107).
    • They load Pavel Petrovich into the carriage and, at Nikolai's request, Bazarov attends to him. Nikolai walks on behind.
    • When they return the house is in turmoil. Only Pavel Petrovich continues to joke, especially with Bazarov.
    • Bazarov attends to Pavel Petrovich as little as possible and is in a gloomy mood. When the town doctor comes to help Pavel Petrovich, Nikolai slips him money and tells him that it was simply an accident (so as to avoid gossip).
    • Nikolai keeps visiting his brother throughout the night, though Pavel Petrovich tells him to get to sleep.
    • Toward morning, a slight delirium sets in. Pavel Petrovich says to Nikolai that he thinks Fenichka resembles his old love, Princess R., and Nikolai is amazed at "the persistent vitality of old passions in a man" (24.117).
    • Pavel Petrovich exclaims that he loves that simple creature and "will suffer no insolent upstart to dare to lay a finger..." (24.118).
    • Nikolai doesn't know what he's talking about.
    • The next morning, Bazarov comes to see Nikolai before he leaves. Nikolai, though a bit tongue-tied, tells him that he understands that the whole thing was Pavel Petrovich's fault, and tells him that he has done everything he can to avoid publicity.
    • Bazarov leaves his address in case there are any further complications. He tells Nikolai to say good-bye to Arkady in case he misses him.
    • Pavel Petrovich says good-bye to Bazarov, but "even now Bazarov remained as cold as ice; he realized that Pavel Petrovich wanted to play the magnanimous" (24.128).
    • He doesn't say goodbye to Fenichka, and both Piotr and Dunyasha are extremely upset at his parting.
    • Riding away in his carriage and smoking a cigar as he leaves the Kirsanovs' farm for the last time, Bazarov mutters to himself, "These damned little gentry!" (24.128).
    • Pavel Petrovich begins to feel better over the course of a week. Nikolai and Fenichka care for him, and everyone in the house is shocked at his behavior, except for Prokofyich, for whom duels used to be a matter of course.
    • Fenichka had no moral qualms about what happened, but she was worried about what actually caused the fight: "She grew thin from constant inward agitation and, as always happens, she looked even prettier" (24.130).
    • One morning, as Fenichka is bringing in the tea, Pavel Petrovich asks her to sit with him. When she does, he asks her why it is that she sometimes seems afraid of him. He asks if her conscience is clear.
    • Fenichka goes crimson, but says there is no reason why her conscience should not be clear.
    • Pavel Petrovich asks if she loves Nikolai, and she says, "I love Nikolai Petrovich with all my heart" (24.145).
    • He presses her, and she says, "If I did not love Nikolai Petrovich I would have nothing to live for" (24.147).
    • When he continues to press her, Fenichka becomes confused. Pavel Petrovich tells her that she saw what happened between her and Bazarov, and she goes completely red.
    • Sobbing, she passionately says that she was not at all to blame. When Fenichka looks back at Pavel Petrovich, she is astonished to see a tear rolling down his cheek.
    • He tells her never to stop loving Nikolai, and takes her hand and squeezes it.
    • "At that moment the whole of his wasted life stirred within him" (24.165).
    • The stairs creak and Nikolai enters carrying Mitya. Fenichka rushes to him and embraces him. She usually isn't very affectionate, and Nikolai is taken aback.
    • He asks if anything is the matter.
    • After a pause, Pavel Petrovich asks Nikolai to carry out one request. He tells him that he is an upright man and that he must "Marry Fenichka... She loves you; she is the mother of your son" (24.178).
    • Nikolai steps back and throws up his hands. He tells Pavel Petrovich that the only reason he hasn't already done so is because he didn't want to displease his brother.
    • Pavel Petrovich tells him that he was mistaken. He says, "enough worrying about appearances and what people think: we are quiet, elderly folk now; it's high time we laid aside the vanity of the world" (24.181).
    • Nikolai rushes to him and embraces him. He praises his kindness. Pavel Petrovich asks him to be careful of his leg.
    • Nikolai wonders what Arkady will say, and Pavel says he is certain that Arkady will be delighted.
    • They embrace again.
    • Pavel Petrovich thinks that Nikolai should go tell Fenichka his decision at once, but Nikolai says that now that everything is set there is no reason to rush. As he leaves, he thanks Pavel Petrovich again.
    • Pavel Petrovich wonders why Nikolai thanks him since it is entirely his own decision. He thinks that after they marry he will go somewhere far away and wait to die.
    • He leans back on his pillow and "In the glaring daylight his handsome emaciated head lay on the white pillow like the head of a dead man... And, indeed, to all intents and purpose, so he was" (24.196).
  • Chapter 25

    • At Nikolskoye, Katya and Arkady sit in the garden, petting the dog Fifi. "They were both silent; but the way in which they were silent, the way in which they were sitting together, spoke eloquently of the trustful intimacy between them" (25.1).
    • Arkady says that the Russian word for ash-tree, yusen (meaning lucent or clear), is a good one. When Katya agrees, Arkady notes that, unlike Bazarov, she doesn't reproach him for fancy talk.
    • Speaking of the author Heine, Katya says that she only likes him "when his mood is pensive and melancholy" (25.4).
    • Arkady says he only prefers Heine's jokes, and Katya says "That's an old mark of your satirical turn of mind" (25.6).
    • She thinks that Arkady, like her sister, fell under Bazarov's influence. She expects that they will be able to transform him.
    • Arkady mentions that Katya never liked Bazarov, and she says that she is in no position to pass judgment on him. When Arkady suggests that is just a cop-out, she says that the truth is just that she, like Arkady, has nothing in common with him.
    • When Arkady asks what she means, she says, "He's a wild beast, while you and I are domestic animals" (25.20).
    • Arkady is offended, but Katya says that's simply the way people are. She says that though Bazarov had an influence on Anna Sergeyevna, it didn't last long because above all she values her independence.
    • At the same time, both of them wonder why they're discussing Anna Sergeyevna.
    • Arkady asks Katya to confess that she is a bit afraid of her sister. He admits that he is too.
    • Katya thinks it strange that Arkady is afraid of Anna Sergeyevna. She says her sister is much friendlier to him now than when he first came.
    • Arkady thinks that it is because he brought over her mother's letters, but Katya says that there are other reasons.
    • Arkady observes that Katya is a very thoughtful and distrustful person, that she keeps everyone at a distance.
    • He says "people in your position, I mean with your fortune, don't often have that facility; it is as hard for them as it is for emperors to get at the truth" (25.53).
    • When Katya protests that she is not actually wealthy, Arkady realizes for the first time that all this wealth is her sister's.
    • Arkady observes that she sounded very pretty when she said that the wealth was not hers. He thinks that she harbors "a grain of the vanity" of those who recognize that they are poor (25.60).
    • Katya claims she doesn't know what he's talking about. To prove his point, Arkady asks if she would marry a rich man, and she admits that she would not.
    • Katya says what scares her about it is the idea of "a mere subordinate existence" (25.67).
    • Arkady begins to compare Katya to her sister. He thinks that she is just as observant and intelligent and possesses perhaps even more character.
    • Katya asks him not to compare them, and says that he in particular should not be doing so.
    • There is a pause and Katya begins throwing crumbs to the birds. Then Arkady says, "It may be all the same to you but I should like you to know that I wouldn't exchange you for your sister or for any one else in the world either" (25.79).
    • Arkady is surprised by his exclamation and promptly gets up and walks away. Katya sits there unsmiling and, with time, develops a slight blush.
    • Anna Sergeyevna approaches and asks where Arkady is. When she sees that Katya is alone she worries that they have quarreled, but Katya says that they have not.
    • Anna Sergeyevna says that she was going to ask the two of them to go on a walk. Looking at Katya's feet, she tells her to change her boots more often so as to take care of her pretty little feet.
    • As the two of them begin walking, Katya thinks "Pretty little feet, you say... Well, before long he shall be kneeling at them" (25.93).
    • She immediately feels ashamed of the thought.
    • Meanwhile, Arkady is making his way up to his room when he hears that Bazarov has come to see him.
    • Arkady immediately worries that something is wrong at home. Yet when he goes to his room and sees how calm Bazarov looks, he is reassured and embraces him.
    • He asks how everyone is doing at home, and Bazarov says that everyone is doing fine, though Arkady's uncle is not in good health.
    • Bazarov tells Arkady what happened in his typically terse manner. He re-assures Arkady that his uncle is alright, and concludes that this is what "comes of living with these feudal barons" (25.102).
    • Bazarov says that it is time for them to part, and Arkady is taken aback. Bazarov says that they have grown apart already and asks how his affair with Anna Sergeyevna is coming along. Arkady insists that Bazarov is mistaken.
    • Bazarov goes on, "A romantic would say, 'I feel our paths are beginning to diverge,' but I will simply say that we are tired of each other" (25.109).
    • Arkady says to never mind him, that Bazarov must stop and say hello to Anna Sergeyevna since that is the real reason he has come to visit.
    • Bazarov doubts that she wants to see him, but Arkady persists, and it turns out that he is right.
    • Anna Sergeyevna receives Bazarov in the drawing room, and looks incredibly tense when he enters. Bazarov reassures her that he has come to his senses, that he simply wants to be sure that she doesn't think of him with repugnance.
    • Anna Sergeyevna is immensely relieved. She says she was partly to blame, and dismisses what happened between them as a dream. She hopes that they can return to being friends.
    • As they dismiss their love, the author wonders "Was the truth, the whole truth, to be found in their words?" (25.125).
    • When Anna Sergeyevna asks what Bazarov has been up to at the Kirsanovs' he decides not to tell her about the duel and simply says he has been working.
    • She admits that she went into a fit of depression after he left and almost went abroad. It was not until Arkady came that she regained control of herself.
    • Anna Sergeyevna admits that at first she thought Arkady rather insignificant and didn't understand why Bazarov was friends with him.
    • When Bazarov asks if Arkady is still shy with her, she is confused. Thinking back, she supposes that she avoided him at first since he was more Katya's friend.
    • After a moment, Bazarov asks if she really didn't notice that Arkady was in love with her.
    • Anna Sergeyevna denies it several times, and closes the subject by saying that Bazarov is exaggerating.
    • Though Anna Sergeyevna tells Bazarov that the past is forgotten, she realizes that she still is not comfortable around him.
    • The narrator compares it to the way "people on a steamer talk and laugh light-heartedly, for all the world as if they were on dry land; but let the smallest hitch occur, at the faintest hint of something unusual, and their faces instantly express a peculiar anxiety, betraying the unceasing awareness of unceasing danger" (25.140).
    • After their talk, Anna Sergeyevna sends a servant looking for Arkady. The servant finds him in a reflective pose out in the farthest corner of the garden.
    • Though Arkady knows that Bazarov is inside with Anna Sergeyevna, he no longer feels jealous. Instead, he feels elated, and thinks that he is on the verge of making a decision.
  • Chapter 26

    • Katya goes and sits alone in the portico. Before he died, Monsieur Odintsov had intended to surround the portico with Greek statues. The only one that was put in, though, was the Goddess of Silence, and shortly after she was installed some farm boys knocked off her nose.
    • Katya often sits there reading and doing her embroidery, "abandoning herself to that sensation of absolute peace with which we are probably all familiar and the charm of which lies in a half-conscious hushed contemplation of the vast current of life that is for ever swirling in and around us" (26.1).
    • After talking with Bazarov, Anna Sergeyevna warned Katya to more careful around Arkady, to avoid the long solitary talks they often have.
    • Today, though, Arkady has invited her to the portico. She goes with him, telling herself that it is the last time.
    • As they sit there, Arkady tells her that, as much as they have talked, there is one thing that he has wanted to say to her but has not been able to. He tells her that the transformation she has observed in him is entirely due to her.
    • Arkady says that when he first arrived he was conceited, that he wanted to pursue an ideal and yet he didn't know what he was searching for. He tells her that now he knows because he is in the grip of a certain emotion.
    • Katya stops looking at him. Arkady goes on and says that a man must be honest with the people who are dear to him. Katya seems not to know what he is leading up to and yet also to be expecting something.
    • Arkady begins stammering. He says that the other day Katya accused him of not being serious, but that by that point he had ceased to deserve it. He is about to make his proposal when they hear Anna Sergeyevna's voice.
    • Arkady falls silent and Katya goes pale. Anna Sergeyevna is walking with Bazarov beside the portico.
    • She tells him that it is true that they both became interested in each other, but that things petered out. Yet she thinks that things may be different with Arkady. Though she is old enough to be his aunt, she admits to Bazarov that she thinks of him more and more often.
    • Bazarov is clearly steaming, and remarks that when a woman as old as she is interested in someone like Arkady it is more akin to "fascination" (26.18).
    • Anna Sergeyevna thinks that Arkady is like a brother to Katya, but that perhaps she has let them get too close. Bazarov sarcastically wonders if it is sisterly concern that prompts her worry.
    • They begin to walk on, and Anna Sergeyevna says that, though she is afraid of Bazarov, she trusts him because at heart he is a good man.
    • Bazarov protests that he is far from a good man, and that the only reason she thinks this is because she is no longer interested in him, "It's like laying a wreath of flowers at a corpse's head" (26.122).
    • For the most part, the rest of their words are carried away by the wind, though one can hear Bazarov tell Anna Sergeyevna that she is free.
    • Arkady turns to Katya with renewed courage. He tells her that he loves her passionately and that he wants to marry her, and that ever since they have become close "everything else has long ago melted into thin air without a trace" (26.126).
    • After a long pause, Katya says yes. Arkady jumps up from the bench in joy, but then wants to clarify that he understands her.
    • When she says yes again, he knows that she has agreed. He is ecstatic, and she begins to cry.
    • The narrator says, "No one who has not seen such tears in the eyes of his beloved knows the degree of happiness attainable on this earth, as the heart swoons with thankfulness and awe" (26.130).
    • The next morning, Anna Sergeyevna asks Bazarov to come to her study. When he gets there, she shows him a letter from Arkady asking for Katya's hand in marriage.
    • She laughs, but it is strained. Bazarov also laughs, though he can barely "hide the malicious pleasure which instantly flared in his breast" (26.132).
    • Anna Sergeyevna asks him what she should do, and he says that she must give them her blessing.
    • She agrees, though she says that she will wait for Nikolai's response. She thinks that she and Bazarov really must be too old not to have noticed what was going on.
    • Bazarov tells her "Young folk are very artful these days," and quickly bids her goodbye (26.139).
    • Anna Sergeyevna begs him to stay, saying "Talking to you is like walking on the edge of a precipice. At first one is frightened, then one picks up courage. Do stay" (26.141).
    • Bazarov thanks her, but says that he has been too long out of his natural element and that it is time for him to return.
    • Looking at him, Anna Sergeyevna sees the pained expression on his face. Remembering that he loved her, she feels sorry for him and offers him her hand. He refuses her charity and says goodbye.
    • When she tells him that surely they will meet again, he says, "Anything can happen in this world," and leaves the room (26.147).
    • Bazarov goes to visit Arkady and congratulates him on building a nest. He asks him why he was so secretive about it, and Arkady says he had no idea what would happen when he left Maryino.
    • Arkady wonders why Bazarov is congratulating him when they both know what he thinks of marriage.
    • Bazarov tells him that he is simply feeling a void. He says that this is the right decision for Arkady because "There's no audacity in you, no venom" (26.150).
    • Bazarov thinks that the gentry can only go so far and no further. He says that for those who insist on fighting, "Our dust would corrode your eyes, our mud would sully you, but in actual fact you aren't up to our level yet, you unconsciously admire yourself, you enjoy finding fault with yourself; but we've had enough of all that – give us fresh victims" (26.150).
    • Arkady is sad that this is all Bazarov has to say to him at their parting.
    • Bazarov admits that he could say other things, but that they'd be sentimental. He tells Arkady to hurry up and get married and have children.
    • Arkady embraces his friend and mentor, and nearly begins crying.
    • Bazarov tells him to have no worries because Katya will soon console him.
    • When Bazarov climbs into his carriage, he points to two jackdaw birds sitting next to each other on the roof. He tells Arkady that the jackdaw is the most respectable of birds and to let it be an example for him.
    • With that, Bazarov's wagon moves away.
    • Bazarov is right. That night, talking with Katya, Arkady quickly forgets Bazarov. Anna Sergeyevna keeps them company only for the sake of propriety.
    • She keeps the princess out of the way, knowing that the wedding would infuriate her.
    • At first, Anna is worried that the sight of the happy couple will upset her, but she finds that it actually just makes her extremely happy.
    • She thinks that Bazarov was right, that all was just curiosity and egotism.
    • She asks Katya and Arkady to tell her whether "love is an imaginary feeling" (26.161).
    • They don't know what she is talking about, and cannot forget the conversation they overheard between her and Bazarov.
    • Soon, however, their minds are set at rest, as is Anna Sergeyevna's.
  • Chapter 27

    • When Bazarov returns home, his parents are ecstatic to see him. He tells them that he is staying for six weeks, but warns his father that he is there to work.
    • His father says, "You'll forget what my face looks like – that's how much I shall disturb you" (27.3).
    • Vassily Ivanych stays out of Bazarov's way and warns his wife so severely that she's almost afraid to speak to her son.
    • With time, Bazarov's "fever for work abated and was succeeded by gloomy nostalgia and a vague restlessness" (27.4).
    • He begins to smoke and walk with his father, and once even asks for Father Alexei. Vassily Ivanych shares with his wife that he's worried about their son. He is gloomy and sad and his health seems to be deteriorating.
    • Several times, Vassily Ivanych tries to bring up personal matters with Bazarov, but is so circumspect that Bazarov finally says, "Why are you forever tiptoeing around me? It's worse than you were before" (27.6).
    • Trying to make headway on a different front, Vassily Ivanych brings up the question of political progress, but Bazarov quickly dismisses it.
    • From time to time, Bazarov strolls down to the village to talk with the peasants. He speaks with them half-jokingly, telling them he hears that they are the future of Russia.
    • He asks about peasant superstition, and they tell him that above all their village rests on the master's will, "on account of you bein' like our fathers. An' the more strict the master rules, the better it be for us peasants" (27.10).
    • Bazarov shrugs his shoulders and walks away and the peasants wonder what on earth he was asking them about. One of them says that he just "wanted to wag 'is tongue a bit. 'Course e's gentry: they ain't got much understandin'" (27.13).
    • Bazarov still prides himself on being able to speak to the peasants. It never occurs to him that "in their eyes he was after all nothing but a sort of buffoon" (27.14).
    • After awhile, Bazarov realizes that the best thing for him to do is to help his father treat the peasants. He continues to mock both the treatments and his father, but Vassily Ivanych takes this as a sign that he is getting his spirits back.
    • Vassily Ivanych is overflowing with pride to be working with his son and brags to the peasants that Napoleon III doesn't have a better doctor.
    • Once, when Bazarov pulls a peasant's tooth, Vassily Ivanych saves it to show off how cleanly it came out. Showing it to Father Alexei, he exclaims that his son must be extremely strong to pull out a tooth like that. Alexei doesn't know what to say to "the rapturous old man" (27.18).
    • One day a peasant brings his brother, who has typhus, to see Vassily Ivanych. Vassily Ivanych has to tell him that it is too late, and his brother dies right there in the cart.
    • Three days later, Bazarov returns from town and asks for some silver nitrate to cauterize a cut. Vassily Ivanych wants to know what happened, and he tells him that while he was in town, some doctors decided to open up the body of the man with typhus.
    • He offered to assist them, but, being out of practice, accidentally cut himself.
    • Vassily Ivanych goes "white to the lips" (27.29). He rushes off to get the nitrate and asks Bazarov if they shouldn't sear it with a hot iron.
    • Bazarov calmly says that it should have been done sooner. He tells his father that if he has already caught the infection, then it is too late anyway.
    • Vassily Ivanych began railing against the village doctor for being so poorly supplied. He visits his son so often over the course of the next day that Bazarov threatens to leave altogether.
    • They keep it a secret from Arina Vlassyevna, but she begins to notice that Vassily Ivanych can't sleep and to inquire after what is bothering him.
    • One night at dinner, Bazarov sits there with his head slumped, not eating. Vassily Ivanych asks how he is feeling and wants to take his pulse.
    • Bazarov stubbornly tells him that he knows he has a temperature. He says he will go to his room and they can bring him some tea, and, for his mother, says "I must have caught a chill" (27.54).
    • While Arina Vlassyevna prepares the tea, Vassily Ivanych goes "into the next room and clutched at his hair in silence" (27.56).
    • Bazarov spends the entire night in a state of half-consciousness. When he wakes to find his father leaning over him, he asks him to leave.
    • Yet Vassily Ivanych stays by the door watching him all night. The next day, Bazarov is too weak to get up, and his nose begins to bleed.
    • Arina Vlassyevna begins to get a sense of what's going on, and "a sudden darkness seem[s] to descend in the house; faces all [look] drawn, and everything [is] strangely still" (27.57).
    • Vassily Ivanych continues to fuss over his son, and when Arina Vlassyevna finally grabs him by the arm to ask what is wrong with their son, he can't help himself. He tries to smile, but collapses into a fit of horrible laughter.
    • The next day, he sends for the doctor. He warns Bazarov of it, and Bazarov turns over on the sofa.
    • In a slow, husky voice, he tells his father, "I'm in a bad way, old chap. I've caught the infection, and in a few days you will have to bury me" (27.61).
    • Vassily Ivanych is in a state of disbelief. To push his point in, Bazarov shows him the red patches on his arms, and proclaims that he has all the symptoms of pyaemia. His father persists in his denial.
    • Bazarov says that his parents will have to fall back on their religious faith. He says he wants his father to do something for him before he loses his mind altogether. Just this afternoon, he was in a delirium.
    • He asks his father to send a message for him. His father thinks it is for Arkady, but tells him that Arkady is now a "jackdaw" (27.76). The message is for Madame Odintsov, to tell her that he is dying.
    • His father asks where justice would be if Bazarov were really to die. Bazarov just asks him to send the message.
    • Then, referring to his delusion of hounds, he says, "I shall return to my hounds again. How curious it is – I want to fix my thoughts on death, and nothing comes of it. I merely see a kind of blur... and that's all" (27.80).
    • Bazarov turns toward the wall and Vassily Ivanych struggles out of the room. He collapses beside his wife, at the foot of their bed and exhorts her to pray: "Our son is dying" (27.82).
    • The village doctor comes, examines Bazarov, and says that there may still be possibility of recovery.
    • Bazarov, sarcastic as usual, asks him, "Have you ever seen people in my state not set off for the Elysian fields?" (27.84).
    • He grabs a leg of the table and pushes it away from him to demonstrate his strength. Yet he says that he still must die.
    • Hearing his parents sobbing, he says, "Well, if Christianity is no help, be a philosopher, a Stoic maybe! Surely you used to pride yourself on being a philosopher?" (27.85).
    • As the tears stream down his cheeks, Vassily Ivanych sobs, "A fine philosopher I am!" (27.86).
    • The infection spread rapidly. Bazarov does his best to fight off delirium while his father wanders about like a mad person.
    • Vassily Ivanych insists that the doctor stay. He suggests all sorts of useless remedies to which the doctor heartily agrees. Arina Vlassyevna simply sits on a stool and occasionally leaves to pray. She broke a looking-glass the other day, which she takes as a bad omen.
    • The servant Anfisushka cannot think of words to comfort her. Meanwhile, Timofeich has gone to deliver the message to Madame Odintsov.
    • Bazarov has a bad night, but feels a bit easier in the morning. His father says thanks that the "crisis" has passed (27.89).
    • Bazarov exclaims, "What a lot a word can do! He's found one – he said 'crisis' and feels better. It's an astounding thing, the faith men still have in words" (27.90).
    • Vassily Ivanych takes heart in his son's speech and cheers him on. Bazarov asks him if the crisis is over or approaching, and Vassily Ivanych says he is just thankful that Bazarov appears to be better.
    • Bazarov checks to make sure the letter has gone to Madame Odintsov, and Vassily Ivanych confirms that it has.
    • Things again take a turn for the worse, and Vassily Ivanych waits by Bazarov's bedside.
    • When Bazarov comes to, he says, "My son, my dear beloved son!" (27.99).
    • Bazarov wants to know what is bothering his father, and he tells him that, as much as it pains him to ask him, he'd like him to perform his duty as a Christian (to pray for God's forgiveness).
    • Bazarov says, "I have no objection if it's any consolation to you. But it seems to me there's no hurry yet. You say yourself that I am better" (27.104).
    • Vassily Ivanych persists, but Bazarov says that he will wait and leans back in bed. Vassily Ivanych goes to sit in his armchair and chew his fingernails.
    • After some time, Vassily Ivanych hears a carriage approaching. He rushes out to meet it, and finds that it is Madame Odintsov. She is dressed completely in black, and has arrived with a German doctor.
    • Vassily Ivanych cries that she is an "angel from heaven" and Arina Vlassyevna comes out and throws herself at Anna Sergeyevna's feet.
    • Vassily Ivanych comes to his senses and leads the doctor into Bazarov's room. He tells Bazarov who has come, and Bazarov says he wants to see Madame Odintsov.
    • His father says that first they will do the medical consultation and then he can see her.
    • Bazarov warns the doctor not to speak in Latin since he knows the phrase for "he's already dying."
    • The doctor sees that the patient speaks German, but Vassily Ivanych says that they should probably speak in Russian. They begin the consultation.
    • After half an hour, Anna Sergeyevna comes to visit. She is frightened by Bazarov's pale sickly form and thinks that if she really loved him, she would not feel this way.
    • He thanks her, and asks his father to leave them.
    • She begins to speak, but he cuts her off. He says, "Death is an old jest but it comes new to everyone" (27.141).
    • He tells her that it makes no sense to tell her he loves her since "love is a form, and my particular form is already disintegrating. Better let me say – how lovely you are!" (27.141).
    • He begs her not to be alarmed, and she comes and sits by him on the sofa.
    • Not long ago, he says, he considered himself a giant. Now, "the only problem for this giant is how to die decently, though that makes no difference to anyone" (27.145).
    • Anna Sergeyevna gives him a glass of water without taking off her gloves. He tells her that his father will think his death is a great loss to Russia. Even though it is not true, he asks her not to disillusion him.
    • To assure him, Anna Sergeyevna tells him that she is there for him. He takes her hand, sits up, and says, "Farewell... Listen... You know, I never kissed you then... Breathe on the dying flame and let it go out..." (27.151).
    • She kisses his forehead and he lets his head sink back into the pillow. As he nods off to sleep, his last words are "Now... darkness..." (27.153).
    • She leaves him, and he never wakes up again. Once, when Father Alexei is saying the last rites over him, his eye opens and one can see that "something like a shudder of horror passed over the death-stricken face" (27.157).
    • When he finally takes his last breath, Vassily Ivanych goes into a frenzy. He cries, "I said I would rebel. And I will rebel. I will!" (27.157).
    • Yet when his wife falls on his shoulders the two of them collapse in grief.
    • Noon comes and then dusk and nightfall, "with a return to the quiet fold where sleep, sweet sleep, waits for the tormented and the weary..." (27.158).
  • Chapter 28

    • Six months go by, and winter comes. A week ago, two weddings took place: Nikolai and Fenichka; Arkady and Katya.
    • Nikolai is preparing to see his brother Pavel off to Moscow. Anna Sergeyevna appeared briefly at the wedding, gave Arkady and Katya a generous endowment, and left.
    • At 3 o'clock, they all gather around the table to say goodbye to Pavel. Everyone looks better than before, except for Pavel, who has grown thinner; "they all felt a little awkward, a little sad, and, at bottom, very happy" (28.2).
    • Nikolai attempts to give a toast to his brother, but stumbles over his words. Eventually, he gets the toast out. Pavel stands up and exchanges kisses with everyone. He asks them to be happy, and then bids them 'farewell' in English.
    • As they are making toasts, Katya whispers in Arkady's ear that they should have a toast to Bazarov's memory.
    • The narrator now tells us that, though this would seem to be the end, he will oblige us readers by telling what all of the characters are up to at present.
    • Anna Sergeyevna is married again. She married not out of love but "out of conviction," and her husband is "kind-hearted and as cold as ice" (28.9).
    • The princess is dead, "forgotten the very day she died" (28.9).
    • Arkady and Nikolai have settled down to the management of the estate at Maryino. Arkady deals with the estate itself, and Nikolai goes about and preaches to the peasants about the land reforms. Unfortunately, he is too mild to please either the peasants or the gentry.
    • Katya has a son, little Nikolai, and Mitya is now walking and talking.
    • Fenichka, now Fedosya Nikolayevna, has taken a great liking to Katya, and the two are fast friends.
    • Piotr has become stuck up and pompous, but he married the daughter of a market-gardener in town, who had been turning down suitors until one proposed who owned a watch.
    • Pavel Petrovich is now in Dresden, and, though his health is deteriorating, he is a key figure in polite society. He is a bit stiff around the English, who still find him a "perfect gentleman," but is more at ease and more popular among the Russians (28.10).
    • Russian tourists constantly seek him out, and Matvei Ilyich Kolyazin even paid him a visit when he was in Dresden.
    • "Within his capacity he continues to do good works; in a small way he still causes a stir; it was not for nothing that he had been a social lion once upon a time; but life weighs heavily on him... more heavily than he himself suspects" (28.10).
    • Madame Kukshin has settled in Heidelberg, begun to study architecture, and remains a hit among the students who "at first flabbergast the simple-minded German professors by their sober outlook on things, and later on astound the same professors by their complete inertia and absolute sloth" (28.11).
    • Sitnikov goes about Petersburg telling people that he is continuing the work of Bazarov. A man recently boxed his ears (hit him on either side with the palms of his hand), and Sitnikov called him a coward in an obscure journal that no one reads. He considers this ironic. His wife thinks he is a fool.
    • Bazarov lies buried in a remote little graveyard, his grave hemmed in by an iron fence, and there are two fir-trees planted on each end. His parents often come to weep and to tend the grave and to pray.
    • And the book closes, "But are those prayers of theirs, those tears, all fruitless? Is their love, their hallowed selfless love, not omnipotent? Oh yes! However passionate, sinful and rebellious the heart hidden in the tomb, the flowers growing over it peep at us serenely with their innocent eyes; they speak to us not only of eternal peace, of the vast repose of 'indifferent' nature: they tell us, too, of everlasting reconciliation and of life which has no end" (28.12).