Fathers and Sons | Study Guide

Ivan Turgenev

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Course Hero. "Fathers and Sons Study Guide." Course Hero. 6 Feb. 2018. Web. 16 Jan. 2019. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fathers-and-Sons/>.

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Course Hero. (2018, February 6). Fathers and Sons Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved January 16, 2019, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fathers-and-Sons/

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Course Hero. "Fathers and Sons Study Guide." February 6, 2018. Accessed January 16, 2019. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fathers-and-Sons/.


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Fathers and Sons | Chapter 2 | Summary



Somewhat less excited to see his father, Arkady jokes he must shake the dust off his coat before hugging his eager father. Nikolai ignores the request and happily says, "Let me have a look at you; let me have a look at you." He calls excitedly for his horses to be brought around. Arkady then announces he has brought his friend Yevgeny Vassilievitch Bazarov, whom Nikolai greets politely. Piotr, as "a modernized servant," does not kiss the young master's hand but bows to Arkady before departing to fetch the horses. Nikolai worries there isn't enough space in the carriage for Bazarov, but Arkady assures his father, "You must not stand on ceremony with [Bazarov]." They depart for home.


Bazarov's rejection of traditional behavior may rub readers the wrong way. He appears aloof, selfish, and even rude. The narrator describes him as "lazy," with "drooping whiskers" suggesting he is unkempt. He doesn't immediately offer his hand to greet Nikolai, nor does he remove his hat, both traditional customs of politeness. He starts smoking a cigar without offering one to anyone else and strikes up a conversation with the coach driver, jokingly and condescendingly calling him "bushy beard." All this behavior highlights Bazarov's nihilistic beliefs. He sees no reason to be gracious or friendly, or even conventionally polite simply because society expects such behavior. Nor does he see the need to consider others' comfort when smoking. The behavior is off-putting, which appears to be exactly Bazarov's goal.

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