In Memory Of Bazarov Essay, Research Paper
In Memory of Bazarov
The characterization in the novel, Fathers and Sons written by Ivan Turgenev, is
extremely important in helping the reader to understand the true meaning of the novel.
These characters deeply develop their own sense of who they really are ad end up where
they do, all thanks to one character, whom I think is the main protagonist, and that
character is Bazarov. It may seem untrue to the reader at first with realizing that Bazarov
is a nihilist, one who believes in nothing, but with that the characters outcome is derived
from Bazarov behavior, and his mindset and his on life. I feel that all the characters
somehow revolve around Brazorov, and with that, the reader can understand each
character better, and see how the meaning of the novel relates to all of them. All the
characters have turbulent personalities, but at the core their struggles are the same. They
are all trying to find an identity. They are all in effect lost, and they all are lost together.
Bazarov aids them to understand what they want in life.
It all starts with Bazarov walking into the lives of the Kirsanov family. Bazarov is
the real focal point of the novel and the character who seems most clearly defined. One
by one he intellectually touches the soul of each member, Arkady, Nicholas, Pavel, and
Fenichka. Bazarov’s character is not very much liked by all. Everyone is not quite as
fond of him as Arkady. Bazarov is ignorant in the fact that he stays at his friends home
and takes everything for granted there. He starts up conversations with having only his
point of view, which starts some trouble with the family members, especially Pavel.
Bazarov defines himself as a nihilist. He is against any existing institution, practice, or
belief, and he claims that he does not believe in anything. He seems as though he does
not know what he is doing or why he is doing it anymore than the other characters. But
his characteristics, the way he has wild impulses, the way he exposes himself, and the
way he claims to be a radical has a strong effect on the others. At one point he calls
himself a “self destroyer”, who is proud of not destroying himself. But in the end, he
does destroy himself. He does this by killing himself by infecting his own body with a
disease. And along with his final words, he saids, “Its obvious that I am not
needed.”(Turgenev 288). He may have left the novel and society without a clear identify
for himself, since he contradicted his claims. But he left an impact on the others and
helped them solve their struggle for finding their own identity.
So, Bazarov begins to have an influence on the other characters. Arkady is
searching for what he is supposed to be. At first he is content to let Brazorov dictate
what he is and becomes almost like a puppet to Bazarov. Bazarov tells him his way of
thinking, his way of life, his way of how society works, his way to have a relationship
with a family. And with that, Arkady listens and tries to understand him. But later
Arkady does get tired of listening and trying to understand Bazarov, he wants to return to
his normal way and won way of thinking. I feel that thru Bazarov’s outlook on life,
Arkady gained knowledge of who he really wants to be, and figures out his true love.
Since it was Bazarov’s idea for Arkady and himself to accept the invitation to travel out
of town, they meet Anna Sergeyevna and her sister Katya. At first, Arkady’s feelings
towards Anna Sergeyevna seem to be showing some potential for him. But Bazarov soon
wins over her attention, which leaves Arkady to attach himself with her sister, Katya.
This starts the romance, and this is what is meant to be. Without Bazarov’s existence
here, this may not have ever occurred. Katya realizes her love for Arkady when she sees
the difference in him and Bazarov. The difference being that Bazarov is a “wild beast”
and Arkady is a “domestic animal”. And later Arkady notices the difference, and later
feels more confident in himself. “His reflections were profound and grave but not
despondent. He knew that Anna Sergeyevna was closeted alone with Bazarov but he felt
none of his old jealously; on the contrary, his face slowly brightened; he seemed to be at
once marveling at something, and rejoicing, and reaching a decision” (Turgenev 264).
This romance arises with the help of Bazarov. He tells Anna Sergeyevna to accept
Arkady and Katya’s wishes when Anna Sergeyevna asks for his advise on whether to deny
or accept the proposal. “I suppose you ought to give the young couple your blessing. It’s
a good match from every point of view: Kirsanov is tolerably well off, the boy’s the only
son, and his father is a nice fellow-he won’t raise any objections.” (Turgenev 269). This
is hard to believe of for Bazarov’s character, but he does, and it is very much useful to the
Bazarov also is beneficial to Nicholas, Arkady’s father. Nicholas has a child with
Fenichka, but is embarrassed to have her in his house and will not marry her because he
fears the condemnation of his brothers and son. Bazarov changes this situation. The
reader sees this when Bazarov is seen kissing Fenichka in the garden by Pavel, Nicholas’
brother. This causes Pavel to question Fenichka about what he saw. Fenichka is also
struggling with her identity. She has this child with Nicholas and moved into the house,
and she feels she is entitled to be more than a servant, but does not know how to accept
her status. When he questions her about it, she realizes that she is in love with Nicholas.
“Nikolai Petrovich is the only person I love in the whole wide world and I always shall.”
(Turgenev 249). This also causes Pavel to have a talk with Nicholas. Pavel tells him to
marry Fenichka. ” I have pondered deeply all this time on what I am now going to say to
you…Brother, you must do you duty, the duty of an honest and upright man: put an end to
the scandal…Marry Fenichka…She loves you; she is the mother of your child.”
(Turgenev 251). He always wanted to tell Nicholas that, but didn’t have the strength to
do it until he saw Bazarov with her. I believe by Bazarov’s coming into the life of
Fenichka and the Kirsanov’s and by Bazarov kissing her, this helped the true romantic
feelings of Nicholas and Fenichka come about, and realize what they each wanted. Their
eyes have opened up for the better of them.
In this novel, I do believe that Bazarov can be looked at as somewhat of a hero.
His character was useful and beneficial to the others. His existence brought about
changes, identity, and romance. And I found the true meaning of the novel is about these
things. And I feel that if it want for Bazarov to come into their lives, then the outcome
would be totally different, and maybe the characters would not have turned out as happy
as they did, they wouldn’t have had any sense of identity. But seeing the way Bazarov
was, they were influenced and effected by his ways, and realized who they are as a
person. At the end of the novel, all the characters were well and were changed, and
thought of Bazarov for his ability to do what he did. “A change had come over our
friends of late: they all seemed to have grown handsomer and more virile; only Pavel was
thinner, and this, incidentally, still further enhanced the elegant air of his expressive
features…Fenichka, too, had altered…-They all smiled, and they all looked apologetic;
they all felt a little awkward, a little sad, and, at bottom, very happy…-To Bazarov’s
memory.” (Turgenev 290-291).