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Nihilism in Turgenovs Fathers and sonsTurgenov s Fathers and Sons has several characters who hold strongviews of the world Pavel believes that Russia needs structure from suchthings as institution religion and class hierarchy Madame Odintsovviews the world as simple so long as she keeps it systematic and free frominterference This essay will focus on perhaps the most interesting andcomplex character in Fathers and Sons Bazarov Vladimir Nabakov writesthat Turgenov takes his creature B out of a self-imposed pattern andplaces him in the the normal world of chance By examining Bazarov thisessay will make this statement more clear to the reader Using nihilism asa starting point we shall look at Bazarov s views and interpretations ofscience government and institution Next we will turn to the issuerelationships Finally we examine Bazarov s death and the stunning truthsit reveals These issues combined with the theme of nihilism will provethat chance or fate is a strong force which cannot easily be negated Nihilism as a concept is used throughout Fathers and Sons To gain abetter understanding of the ideas behind this term let s look at whatBazarov says on the subject We base our conduct on what we recognize asuseful the most useful thing we can do is to repudiate and so werepudiate 123 The base concept of nihilism is to deny or negate andas we learn later in the same paragraph to negate everything With this destruction of everything from science to art there is no building fornihilists as Bazarov says That is not our affair 126 Nihilists viewthe current structure of society as concerned with such trivialties as art and parliamentism while ignoring real life issues such as foodfreedom and equally Nihilists are aware of these social woes and hencementally deny to recognize any of the present authority or institutionswhich only serve to perpetuate a myth Bazarov agrees with the statementthat nihilism confines oneself to abuse 126 I don t
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