Impressionism In Ivan Turgenev's Fathers And Sons

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Ivan Turgenev’s technique of literary impressionism in his portrayal of the characters in Fathers and Sons

Literary impressionism, when defined as a tool in literature, refers to a narrative style that is intentionally equivocal, placing more responsibility on the reader to draw his or her own conclusions about events within the novel, rather than relying on the narrator. As Robert Delaunay stated “Impressionism; it is the birth of Light in painting”, the element of impressionism in Turgenev’s work ‘Fathers and sons’ compels the readers to take a more holistic approach towards the novel, serving them the larger upscale picture of Russia of mid-19th century. In impressionistic literature there is often a proclivity towards exploring
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This disparity between the two sets of ideologies emerges prominently through the meeting of two very important characters, Bazarov and Pavel Petrovich, and the eventual polar relationship which breeds between them. Not long after the arrival of Bazarov did the two characters get involved in a quarrel in which Bazarov for himself and on behalf of Arkady stated ‘Aristocratism, liberalism, progress, principles…A Russian has no need for them at any price’.This side of the argument proposed by Bazarov is representative of the acceptance of the ideology of Nihilism by the younger generation of Russia. Another side of the argument in which Paul Petrovich stated that ‘You insult the Russian people. I don’t understand how one can deny principles, maxims! What are you actuated by then?’ is a counter to the beliefs of the youth. The older generation of Russia believes that the people of Russia cannot survive without principles and that principles are of utmost importance in life. Pavel Petrovich also proceeds to say that the young generation is incapable of ‘being representatives of Russia’s needs, its aspirations!’ which is symbolic of the adamant and inflexible nature of the older generation. Such presentation of the relationship by Turgenev displays the socio-political transition in Russia where the youth of Russia denies any principles and percepts and holds the importance and concern for practicality, science, and independence above traditions and principles. Also, how Victor Sitnikov and Arkady are easily influenced by Bazarov’s ideology of Nihilsm is suggestive of the contagious nature of such ideologies amongst the younger
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