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I only gaze up to heaven when I want to sneeze.
Bazarov admits that he is a nihilist and this awakes in many characters a negative feeling. Russia was one of the first countries to really embrace the philosophical movement that started in Europe and became fast an atheist country. But even if many refused to believe in God, there still remained a good deal of highly religious people who regarded those who weren’t as something unnatural. This quote exemplifies the fact that many stopped seeing God in nature and for them, heaven was no longer holy.
He's a wild beast, while you and I are domestic animals.
Despite her appearance and age, Katya proves to be an intelligent girl who understands the world on a deeper level that those around her. She had observed a crucial difference between Arkady and Barazov and she doesn’t hide her revelation from Arkady. What Katya understands is that just like animals, humans can also be divided into domestic and wild beasts. Katya admits that she is a domestic animal, happy with the world around her, not too preoccupied with changing it and content with being ruled by someone else. Bazarov and Katya’s sister however, are wild beasts, people drove by passion, by the desire to search for ways to feel alive, easily bored and dissatisfied with living a simple life. Because of this, Katya is perfect for Arkady and also because of this Bazarov and Anna could never be happy together, because it would go against the idea that they are wild beasts, made to roam free and not be tied down to someone else.
Death is an old jest but it comes new to everyone.
This quote can be found towards the end of the novel, when Bazarov knows that he will eventually die. What we see from the beginning of the book is that many characters believed themselves to be immune to hardship and death. They didn’t thought that it was something that could happen to them so when they are faced with death, they are utterly devastated. What Barazov understood is that even if death existed since the beginning of time, it is new to everyone because they don’t expect it to come and affect them.
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