«Fathers and Sons» Analysis: Humor in the Book

fathers and sons analysis

Turgenev’s novel “Fathers and Sons” was written more than a century ago. What is the secret of this classic work? Why do people still read and admire it? The answer is simple: the problem of relations between older generations, so colorfully described in the novel, is still relevant today. Reading the novel, we share the emotions with heroes, disagree with them, but we never remain indifferent, and this is the writer’s main merit.

If you were assigned to write a “Fathers and Sons” analysis and you have no idea on what to write, check our sample! Hopefully you have already read the novel to have an idea about the plot and main characters. In this sample, our author has picked the theme of humor which was present in “Fathers and Sons.” Read the text attentively and maybe you will find ideas that you can expand and use in your own essay. We ask you not to copy this text from the “Fathers and Sons” analysis into your own work – this may be considered as plagiarism. Feel free to use the topic from the sample for your own writing or cite some sentences to include in your paper, but don’t forget to use the correct format for citations. Good luck!

Which type of humor is presented in the novel Fathers and Sons and how does it influence the perceiving of the story?

The novel “Fathers and Sons” was published in 1862 and provoked critics to write a great number of articles. None of them accepted Turgenev’s work unreservedly. Liberal critics couldn’t forgive that the nobility representatives were shown ironically and a “plebeian” Bazarov was mocking at them. To my mind there is no satire which usually serves to expose some vices but there is irony, and mild humor which helps us to sympathize with the characters and understand them better.

In the very beginning of the novel when the author describes the Kirsanovs’s estate the reader can see Turgenev’s irony. Maryino looks like a deep countryside and Pavel Petrovich who changes his clothes several times a day and carefully observes Moscow etiquette looks out of place there.

Pavel Petrovich drew from his trouser pocket his beautiful hand with its long pink nails, a hand which looked even more beautiful against the snowy white cuff buttoned with a single large opal, and stretched it out to his nephew (Turgenev, 25, Ch.4).

Arkadiy evokes similar smile. Watching him the reader can’t but laughing because it’s immediately clear that he is not a nihilist in his heart, he just imitates his friend. Arkadiy restrains his emotions, speaks in a rudely familiar way on purpose and during the heated arguments between Bazarov and Pavel Petrovich Arkadiy is usually silent.

Arkady glanced quickly at his father. “She has no reason to feel ashamed. In the first place, you know my point of view,” (Arkady much enjoyed pronouncing these words) (Turgenev, 36, Ch.5).

Probably there are just 2 persons who deserve satire – Kukshina and Sitnikov. It looks like Kukshina’s existence has no sense at all. She wants to look progressive but just amused everyone. Sitnikov is bad-mannered and fawning on the nobility. Their nihilistic views are parody to real nihilism which helps the reader to realize true essence of Bazarov’s nihilism.

Due to the irony Turgenev could express his own attitude to his characters, show a perverted reverse side of nihilism and explain that real nihilism and egocentrism of the youth is just a desire to exchange belief for knowledge and passive hope for actions.

Works Cited

Calandra, Denis M. “CliffsNotes on Fathers and Sons.”
Cliffsnotes, https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/f/fathers-and-sons/critical-essays/structure-of-fathers-and-sons
Costlow, Jane. “Turgenev, Ivan. Fathers and Sons.”
Articlemyriad, http://www.articlemyriad.com/analysis-review-fathers-sons/

Also, you may be interested in other sample dedicated to Russian literature “Anna Karenina” by Tolstoy. Check the link below ⇓

«Anna Karenina» Analysis: The Journey to Italy

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