Professor John Joseph McCann
Pride, a quality or a flaw?
Pride has raised some into great happiness, but has also sunk others in failure and despair. In the novel “Fathers and Sons” by Ivan Turgenev, is indeed pride that makes the conflict arise. Where a Nihilistic graduate is exposed to a traditional but constantly changing alien society he is not willing to accept. Bazarov discovers that his pride was his biggest determination, as well as his biggest obstacle. Ultimately he is rejected by this alien society he comes to love. The Russian author makes us wonder if pride is a blessing or a curse. The main conflict we have in the novel is between Bazarov and Pavel. This is kind of like youth versus older authority. This kind of conflict has been happening for decades because it is basically a fight for dominance. The father type figure, Pavel, is stuck on traditional values like love and aristocratism and Bazarov is the son type character with these new ideas of nihilism. They argue because their ideas are different, but also because they are to blind by their pride to understand each other. This conflict is a smaller scale representation of the political tension between conservatives and radicals in pre revolution 1850's Russia.
Bazarov was so proud about himself, he thought he was better than anybody else. His way of thinking was only restraining him from absorbing and understanding the ideology and culture of his older generation. After his first interaction with Nikolai, Bazarov tells Arkady: “ An antique survival! But your father’s a capital fellow. He wastes his time reading poetry, and doesn’t know much about farming, but he’s a good-hearted fellow.”(16) Who is Bazarov to make such accusations? From my point of view, he is being ignorant by considering poetry a waste of time. How can Bazarov possibly understand what a good-hearted fellow is if he is not even wise enough to identify such attributes. What conceit other than his own...
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