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Ivan Turgenev’s novel - Fathers and Sons

  1. Introduction
  2. The rise of the Russian intelligentsia
  3. Nihilists
  4. German thinkers Hegel and Schelling
  5. Nikolai Petrovich
  6. Russia's rebellious group
  7. Conclusion

The rise of the Russian intelligentsia is accurately depicted through the characters of Ivan Turgenev’s novel, Fathers and Sons. The story Fathers and Sons takes place in 1859, two years before the emancipation of the serfs. The novel takes a look at a pair of families, one of moderate wealth and the other of poorer standings. The family of Arkady and of Bazarov is the main families within the book, but Madame Odintsov’s family is just as important.

Consequently, this story written by Turgenev gives off a subtle message, portraying each character within the story to a certain intelligentsia group during this era. During the nineteenth century the Russian Empire went through a dramatic change in its population. This new enlightened population brought about a new age for Russia, their name was the intelligentsia. This new intelligentsia varied between many different groups with intricately different ideologies. The diverse groups within Russia went by many specific names. The romantics were inspired by such German minds as Hegel and Schelling. An offshoot of the romantic ideal was a group of romantic intellectuals called the Slavophiles.

A group that leaned towards the right was called the Official Nationality. Another large group that sometimes followed the reforms created by Peter the Great were the Westernizers. A big Westernizer of the time was Peter Chaadaev with his writings from “Apology of a Madman”. This exert describes the change in attitude Chaadaev had after being put under house arrest by the tsar. Two extreme Hegelian leftist groups were the Nihilists.

[...] From the novel Fathers and Sons, Nikolai Petrovich would fall under the category of Slavophiles and Romantics. Some examples would be his attitude towards his serfs. Nikolai’s liberal policy of allowing the serfs to rent land from him falls in line with the Slavophile agenda. Another example of how Nikolai is a Slavophile could be seen when Pavel tells Nikolai to marry his new mistress, Fenichka. The original hesitation towards marriage could either be because of Nikolai’s conviction with the Orthodox church or because of the separation of class and Pavel’s opinion. [...]


[...] Ivan Turgenev’s novel - Fathers and Sons The rise of the Russian intelligentsia is accurately depicted through the characters of Ivan Turgenev’s novel, Fathers and Sons. The story Fathers and Sons takes place in 1859, two years before the emancipation of the serfs. The novel takes a look at a pair of families, one of moderate wealth and the other of poorer standings. The family of Arkady and of Bazarov is the main families within the book, but Madame Odintsov’s family is just as important. [...]


[...] This character ended his life with his family, which seems to be the only lifestyle that ends happily. Turgenev would not describe Arkady as either a romantic or a Slavophile, but as a character that is able to adapt with the times, swearing no allegiance to any political movement. This Turgenev boasts subtly the real future of Russia, the adaptable. Work Cited Chaadaev, Peter. “Philosophical Letter and Apology of a Madman” The Minds of Modern Russia. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press 303-314 Riasanovsky, Nicholas V. [...]

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