Fathers and Sons

Characters Through the Looking Glass: An Analytical Exploration of Major Characters on the Characterization of the Pseudo-Antagonist in Fathers and Sons. 11th Grade

There is so much more to an individual that what they do or what they say. By limiting one’s judgment to the two above criteria, one is subject to falling short of the true light. It is common in literature because of this nuance in personality, for authors to supplement direct characterization through indirect methods, which happens via other characters in any piece of work. This is evident in Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons. Rather than listing all the traits of his characters on a page, Turgenev exemplified said traits through other characters. This is seen with his treatment of Bazarov, and his relationships with Pavel and Anna Odintsov. By crafting these interpersonal relationships, Turgenev is able to communicate both Bazarov’s confidence and reveal the inner weakness that lies beneath.

Turgenev effectively highlights Bazarov’s confidence and snide demeanors by introducing a Foil: Pavel. Bazarov and Pavel are both symbols of the political ideologies at the time. Pavel, a member of the old generation, is Turgenev’s personification of old Russia and the Romantic way of life. Juxtapositioned, Bazarov: the personification of Nihilism and the hubris that the movement brings with it. As seen in the exposition of the novel,...

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