Fathers And Sons
FATHERS AND SONS is the best known novel of Ivan Turgenev, a contemporary of Alexander Herzen, Belinsky, Alexander Pushkin and the likes who preceded the great Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Novel as a form was yet to mature and Turgenev?s contemporaries prepared the ground. For those who are running for time but want some wholesome reading in a lonely evening, this is an ideal book.
The protagonist of the novel is Bazarov, a young man who has just completed his course on medicine. He is a brilliant scholar and not just a medical practitioner. Hailing from a remote province in the Czarist Russia, only son of a reasonably well off but not very rich old couple for whom their only joy and reason for living is their wonderful son whom they adore with all their beings, Bazarov represents that generation of young men in the then Russia who have lost their faith in the old and decrepit values of their society, but not very much convinced about the different alternatives put forward by representatives of that society. They want all old and discredited social institutions to be annihilated. They believe in ?nihilism? and are called nihilists. Bazarov is a nihilist without the negative aspects of nihilism. He loves the people. And he wants to serve them.
Bazarov is a hero indeed. Though not rich himself, the youth of the rich families feel proud to associate themselves with him because of his deep knowledge in different branches of knowledge including his own medical science. Despite his nihilism, he is not a heartless man and he loves his old parents with all his heart. He wants to give them a happy and peaceful life in their old age. But fate has something different in store. Bazarov gets a fatal infection while performing a surgery and in a matter of days death takes away this promising and brilliant man who would have contributed a lot to the society and give profound happiness to his ageing parents. Needless to say Bazarov?s parents, particularly his mother, are heart broken. Why should this innocent old people who can not think of harming even a fly should get such a blow, we are inclined to ask.
There are some romantic moments too in the novel for the young readers and for the old ones who want to cherish the memories of their young days. Can you think of youth without a little bit of romance? Bazarov?s becomes a mere memory for his friends and acquaintances, but not to the reader. It brings pain to us to think of him which will make us better human beings with depth of character.