Flannery O'Connor's Stories

Destroyers in the Name of Progress: Bazarov in "Fathers and Sons" and Mr. Fortune in “A View of the Woods”

The destruction of tradition in the name of progress exists in Flannery O’Connor’s “A View of the Woods” and Ivan Turgenev’s <i>Fathers and Sons</i> through the main protagonists in each work. Bazarov is the central character of <i>Fathers and Sons</i>: he is a young nihilist who challenges the traditional Russian aristocracy and the older generation of Russians. Mr. Fortune, the protagonist of O’Connor’s “A View of the Woods,” is uniquely different from the characters of <i>Fathers and Sons</i> in that he is both a part of the older generation and also makes a stand for progress in his small town. Bazarov and Mr. Fortune create conditions for progress by destroying not only the traditions of their cultures, but also by destroying nature itself. Through this theme of change and progress, tensions are created, both internal and external. As this conflict heightens, Bazarov and Mr. Fortune are revealed as iconoclasts in their respective society by virtue of their relationships with their settings and the thematic ideologies behind their actions.

Bazarov and Mr. Fortune’s relationships with their settings are important in understanding their actions and beliefs, because, for destruction to occur,...

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