The main theme

The main theme portrayed by Ivan Turgenev’s novel of Fathers and Sons is change. The characters in the play showed clearly the gap between nihilism and old ideas. The young characters such as Bazarov represented the new modern idealist and Pavel represented the old nihilism. The radicalism of the two characters, Arkady and Bazarov was as a result of their education. Since Bazarov strongly believed that nothing in the world had a real existence, he started to influence Arkady to believe in nihilism.

It resulted in the father of Arkady beginning to develop a negative attitude towards them after receiving the two warmly when they came from school. Pavel, the brother of Nikolai was against Bazarov because of his nihilism beliefs. Arkady and Bazarov then moved to visit Arkady’s relative in the neighboring province where they met an elegant woman whose means were very independent, Madame Odintsova.

Fathers and Sons by Ivan TurgenevBazarov declared his love to Madame that was in contrary with his nihilism beliefs. With Madame’s decline of his love, they proceeded with their journey to Bazarov’s home. After visiting Bazarov’s parents, they moved back to Arkady’s home.

Finally, Arkardy got engaged with Katya, Madame’s sister, Arkady’s father, Nikolai married his servant, Fenichka, Pavel was secretly in love with Fenichka that made him fight Bazarov, and Bazarov eventually died after being kissed by Madame on his deathbed.

Evidences of change

Through the novel, there are evidences of change from old nihilism to new modern idealism represented by Bazarov. There were some cultures in the community that were considered unethical in the society like if people could not honor the moral principles of the society. The old nihilism believed in these cultural and moral principles and anybody who did follow the moral values were sometimes not accepted in the midst of the society as he could influence others to develop such unethical behavior. For instance, in the novel, Pavel viewed Bazarov differently as he was out to change the moral behaviors of the society.

Bazarov had influenced Arkady and they had a similar belief of nihilism. The theme of change is finally seen when Pavel who was against nihilism fought with Bazarov when he kissed Fenichka on her forehead and Pavel was secretly in love with her. Nikolai, the father of Arkady also married his servant and they stayed together. It implies that there is a secret practice of nihilism beliefs by all characters as they rejected cultural principles.

Fathers and Sons by Ivan TurgenevThe cultural and moral principles in regard to the society were highly honored by all members of the society. The societies were very responsible in their activities and how they related amongst themselves. The people who tried to go contrary to the wish and moral principles of the community could sometimes be excommunicated. For instance, in the novel, Pavel is a character who represented leaders who monitors and detect strange behaviors in the society.

Pavel did not welcome Bazarov when they were from school because he realized that Bazarov believed in nihilism and he had influenced their son, Arkady. When Arkady and Bazarov realized that Pavel was against their belief, they moved to visit their relative in the neighboring province. It indicates that Pavel was not for nihilism and believed in the old cultural and moral principles. He did not accept the changes in the cultural principles of the society that could be caused by nihilism beliefs. Pavel supposed that if Bazaarov could continue staying with them in the same home, then he could change the beliefs of everybody to adopt new modern ideologies that were against cultural practices.

Change is an inevitable practice in every society. For instance, as days elapse, there are new ideas and beliefs that can be adopted and practiced. The acquired beliefs and cultural practices erode the initial policies that governed people’s behaviors and the activities they carry out within the community. In the novel of Father and Sons, the belief of nihilism influenced the behaviors of many characters. Most of the characters have shown a significant change in the behaviors and beliefs. Like in the case of Pavel who represented the old nihilism became influenced by Bazarov behavior of kissing Fenichka who he was secretly in love.

It took a brutal fashion when the two characters fought. The war between Pavel and Bazarov was unethical and compromised the cultural and moral principles of the community. The act of Pavel falling in love with Fenichka is also unethical behavior that is not in line with old nihilism because Fenichka was his brother’s wife. The fact that Nikolai married his servant is also an evidence of change in the society. It is ironical to stay with a lady as your servant and at the same time father with her a child.

It means that Nikolai also changed to believe in nihilism that insisted of no real world existence. The son, Arkady who had been influenced and changed his beliefs backed him up when he came from school and even liked his new brother most. Bazarov who believes in nihilism also fell in love with Madame that was contrary to his beliefs.

The societal change is gradual and is caused by several factors. The novel indicates that every character in the society is prone to change. The change in cultural practices and moral principles can either be positive or negative depending on the initial belief of an individual. For example, Pavel believe on the old nihilism that later changed his beliefs by coveting his brother’s wife for love.

The moral principles did not allow such activity but since Pavel was control affectionate emotions, he fought Bazarov because of her. Bazarov who also strongly believed in nihilism was tempted to declare his love to Madame that was contrary to his belief. It means that Bazarov was changing his belief of nihilism to the acceptance of the existence of cultural values. The novel also indicates that Bazarov passed on after being kissed on the forehead by Madame who initially denied his love. The characters who were strongly influenced by nihilism beliefs were Arkady and his father. The father married the servant and he also got engaged with the sister of Madame.

The author

Fathers and Sons by Ivan TurgenevIvan Turgenev, the author of the novel of Fathers and Sons, depicted the theme of change in different ways. The author used different characters to indicate the types of changes that can occur in the society. The characters such as Pavel, Nikolai father of Arkady represented the old nihilism while Arkady, Bazarov and Madame represented the new modern idealism. The author depicted that everybody is prone to changes and even the cultural and moral values should change simultaneously. If everyone can change their beliefs to nihilism, then the cultural practices and moral principles of the society would also change significantly. For instance, the writer concluded his work by indicating that the characters that represented old nihilism changed their beliefs and those who represented modern idealism also transformed their cultural practices but still believed in nihilism.

In conclusion, the main theme portrayed by Ivan Turgenev’s novel of Fathers and Sons is change. The characters in the play showed clearly the gap between nihilism and old ideas. Through the novel, there are evidences of change from old nihilism to new modern idealism represented by Bazarov. There were some cultures in the community that were considered unethical in the society like if people could not honor the moral principles of the society.

The people who tried to go contrary to the wish and moral principles of the community could sometimes be excommunicated. For instance, in the novel, Pavel is a character who represented leaders who monitors and detect strange behaviors in the society. The acquired beliefs and cultural practices erode the initial policies that governed people’s behaviors and the activities they carry out within the community.

In the novel of Fathers and Sons, the belief of nihilism influenced the behaviors of many characters. Most of the characters have shown a significant change in the behaviors and beliefs. The author used different characters to indicate the types of changes that can occur in the society. The characters such as Pavel, Nikolai father of Arkady represented the old nihilism while Arkady, Bazarov and Madame represented the new modern idealism.