Russian 270 Final

Russian 270 Final - 1. In Turgenev's Fathers and Sons,...

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1. In Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons, Fenichka is a commoner who works housekeeping at an inn with her mother. When Nikoli, a nobleman, visits the inn and is impressed with how well kept it is he asks Fenichka and her mother to come with him to his home and work there. They do and many years later Fenichka mother dies but she remains living with Nikloi. Fenichka soon becomes Nikoli’s mistress and they have a child together. In Russia of the nineteenth century was strictly divided into definite social classes. Fenichka was a member of the lower class who would not be accepted by the wealthy class to which Nikolai belonged. In the true sense of the word, he married a servant, who is socially inferior to him. The point is that the old aristocratic order is so firmly embedded in Nikolai’s mind that he can’t really justify his relationship with Fenichka as proper. Because of this, Fenichka feels insecure because she is not officially married and is furthermore conscious of her inferior social position. Likewise, she is aware that Nikolai has not accepted her as an equal; thus she makes a point of remaining in the background. The story of Fenichka is presented in contrast to Pavel’s story. Thus, we see immediately how far apart the two are. It is at first glance a condescending step for Pavel to go to Fenichka’s room, but ultimately, we discover that Pavel is attracted to Fenichka because she bears a strange resemblance to the lady Pavel once loved. Thus, in this chapter we have subtle hints about Pavel’s true feelings when Turgenev writes that Pavel looked at Fenichka almost sadly. Fenichka is so simple and basic that she can never perceive Pavel’s true feelings and Pavel is too much of a gentleman to reveal them. Bazarov is a most likable and most human person by his conversation and relationship with the honest and simple Fenichka. She feels very comfortable in his presence “because she unconsciously felt that Bazarov lacked all the qualities of a nobleman, lacked all the superiority that both attracts and repels.” There is a common bond of friendship developing between them and through this relationship, we see more into the essential nature of Bazarov than we did when he was discussing things with Madame Odintsova. He does possess a type of natural charm and easy manner with Fenichka. Bazarov ends up kissing Fenichka and Pavel sees them, resulting in a duel between the two in which Bazarov kills Pavel. 2. In Tolstoy’s story “The Death of Ivan Illich” it is a story of Ivan’s steady approach toward death and Ivan’s recognitions of death and his search for a compromise with its dreadful and nullifying power. Throughout the novel, Tolstoy makes clear that preparation for death begins with a proper attitude toward life. As Ivan’s attitude toward life changes, prompted by pain and the prospect of death, his emotions progress from sheer terror to utter joy. The avoidance of death that characterized Ivan’s social surroundings is based on
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Russian 270 Final - 1. In Turgenev's Fathers and Sons,...

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