The sixties of the XIX century entered the history of Russia for a long time. Walking to the people, revolutionary democrats are all these signs of global changes taking place in society. Among the leading social forces, liberals, who favor the transformation of the autocratic-feudal system, and the democrats who advocate radical changes in society were most prominent.
These opposing forces were identified in Ivan Turgenev's novel "Fathers and Sons," written in 1862. The publication of the novel fell at the period of the sharpest aggravation of the social struggle. In St. Petersburg there were student unrest and fires, which resulted in mass arrests and increased reaction from the government. The appearance of the work of Turgenev caused fierce controversy.
The novel, written a year after the abolition of serfdom, carries readers in times of crisis of the feudal system in Russia and aggravation of the struggle between "fathers" (liberals) and "children" (democrat revolutionaries). It is no accident that Turgenev uses exact dates: the events in the novel begin on May 20, 1859, and the in winter 1860 ends. During this period a new type of public figure appears - a democrat who is striving to fight for changing the political system of Russia, not in words, but in deeds.
The central character of the novel, Eugene Vasilyevich Bazarov, is just like that. Of the 28 chapters of the novel, he does not appear in only two. He was initially opposed to all the heroes of the novel, because a person of a different environment is the son of a district doctor. With pride, later Bazarov will say: "My grandfather plowed the land." The democratic origin of the hero will manifest later in his views, words, in relationships with parents, even in relation to the beloved woman.
Already the first appearance of him emphasizes the sharp difference of Eugene Vasilievich from surrounding noblemen-landlords. The author contrasts the characters with the help of the details. The red naked hand of Bazarov and the groomed nails of Pavel Petrovich Kirsanov: "Fingernails, fingernails, at least send an exhibit to the exhibition." The hand of the man of business and the one who is accustomed to flaunting English clothes but sits back. Arkady’s father, Nikolai Petrovich Kirsanov, is much more sensitive than his elder brother: he is shocked by the deliberate vulgarity of Bazarov's words and manners, but he pretends that he does not notice the demonstratively plebeian behavior of the guest.
When there is a dispute between Bazarov and Kirsanov Sr., which has passed into an open confrontation, Nicholay internally agrees with the young opponent, although he has long dubbed him "a retired man" as categorically stated that his song is sung. What, then, caused such hatred in Pavel Petrovich? The fact that Bazarov, crossed out the whole life of the elder Kirsanov. Putting years ago to the feet of the fatal beauty of a princess a brilliant career and his future, he lost all of this, never having achieved anything in life. The younger brother, despite the will of his parents, married a girl of no noble origin, was happy in marriage for ten years and raised a son.
The elder brother did not do exactly what the man should do: he did not build a house, plant a tree and raise a son. Now he is akin to a survivor in the house of Nikolai Petrovich. Pavel Petrovich believed that he leads a noble life and deserves respect in society for his fidelity to principles. From the point of view of Bazarov, this person is an "archaic phenomenon", because his existence is dissoluteness and emptiness, and principles are just an excuse for himself who is sitting idly by.
The hero himself is endlessly lonely. Instead of pupils - pathetic imitators: Sitnikov and Kukshin more like a parody of the sixties. They evaluated in nihilism only the negation of the old moral standards and enthusiastically pay tribute to the new "fashion". It would seem that the true disciple is Arkady, but he easily passes into the camp of the "fathers". He "decided to marry," and therefore was not created for a "bitter, tart, mare's life." Katerina Sergeyevna immediately noted this apparent difference. She said that Bazarov was predatory, and they were tame with Arkady. This to some extent hurt the young man, because he also wanted to be strong, energetic. However, life decreed otherwise: soon after marrying Katya, he repeats the fate of his father, finding happiness in marriage.
The solitude of Bazarov is not only in friendship, but also in love. His unrequited feeling for Anna Sergeevna Odintsov reveals the passionate and deep nature of the nihilist. Rejecting love as a romantic nonsense, nonsense, he falls in love for real. Before meeting this rich widow, Bazarov accepted love in its physiological sense, almost at the level of the instinct of procreation. His first words about this woman were rude, also at the level of physiology: "not like other women".
Afterwards, he was going to find out "what kind of mammal this person belongs to." But this rudeness is caused by disgust for "beautiful" words. The feeling inspired by Anna Sergeevna Bazarov is worthy of respect. She did not just become his companion and companion (even in chemistry!), She was able to make him feel with his heart and soul what he so stubbornly rejected by reason. Bazarov "with indignation was aware of romance in himself." But the ardent materialist was reborn, retaining this romanticism until his death. Not without reason before death, he asks his beloved woman: "Blow on the dying lamp, and let it go out."
A separate topic deserves discussion about the parents of Evgeniy Vasilyevich. Simple and naive, they worship their son with sacred trepidation. He is quite rude in his conversation with his father, but the mother can not only embrace his Enusha, but he accepts her caresses. Thus, the author composes his hero twice in the same circle: Marino, Nikolsky, home. And twice the hero comprehends disappointment in friendship, love, convictions.
But he ends his life in the parental home. Evgeniy Vasilyevich’s death seems ridiculous and far-fetched from the accidental infection of typhus: languishing from unrequited love for Odintsov, Bazarov goes headlong into his work and, helping his father treat peasants, injures himself with a scalpel during the dissection of the deceased peasant. The death of the hero in many aroused bewilderment.
Turgenev realized that the time of such people had not yet come. The best way for him was death, which was accepted with dignity. That's where the character actually showed character. However, the novel ends with the idea of reconciliation with eternal nature.