FATHERS AND SONS
BY IVAN SERGEYEVICH TURGENEV
Set in Nineteenth Century Russia, Fathers and Sons by I. S. Turgenev takes us the estates and agricultural fields – among the rural gentry and their peasants. It portrays two different sons and fathers deal with the changes happening around them. The book starts when Arkady returns home from school with his friend Bazarov, who is a nihilist, to the home of his father, Nicholas. His uncle Pavel also lives there. Nicholas is trying to stay with the times and has set his serfs free, but his estate has fallen into disrepair. He also has been having a relationship with a former servant, Fenichka, and has fathered a child.
My experience in Russian Literature is quite less vast as I have only read Dostoevsky and Chekhov before. So I also wanted to try a new author and I was in a mood of reading something different so I went for it. The book has a good plot, goes monotonous a bit clumsy in the middle but a good ending. The story evolves around the times where ideologies as Materialism, Nihilism and Marxism just were “infants” and clashed with the old aristocratic thinking. That’s why I felt Turgenev could have written Fathers and Sons without any mention of Bazarov’s nihilistic beliefs; it doesn’t strengthen Bazarov’s argument for the welfare of the serfs, and makes him an easy target for Arkady’s uncle Pavel Petrovich to dismiss him as arrogant, flippant and egoistic, characteristics attributed to youth and not the workings of a man of wisdom.
I can’t write more about it as it has nothing much in it but I feel is essential book to read of you’re reading Russian Literature.
My favorite quote from the book: “Every single man hangs by a thread, a bottomless pit can open beneath him any minute, and yet he still goes on thinking up unpleasantness for himself and making a mess of his life.”