Bazarov: Scholarly Man or Ignorant Man?
In Ivan Turgenev’s, Fathers and Sons a young man Arkady brings home a friend from named college named Bazarov who is a nihilist. It was argued by radicals that Bazarov was portrayed unsympathetically whereas many traditionalists argued that Bazarov was portrayed sympathetically. Bazarov is shown sympathetically in his connection to the peasants. There is a scene where Bazarov is with Fenitchka, Nikolai’s mistress and unlike Arkady’s uncle Pavel seems to get along pretty well with her. She has a baby named Mitya who typically fuses when people try to hold him. However, when Bazarov was holding the baby he didn’t fuss. In addition to this, Bazarov was very kind to them and spoke warmly to them. Fenitchka also has a young daughter, Dunyasha who got along well with Bazarov as well. He cared enough to ask her how she was doing (Turgenev 33). This shows a more tender side in Bazarov.
The second thing that readers see that portrays Bazarov in a more sympathetic way is the fact that he wants to be a doctor. He has to have cared about people at least somewhat if he wanted to have a career that helps people. The third thing that displays Bazarov in a more positive light is his nobility in his duel with Pavel. When Bazarov shot Pavel, he shot him in the leg and does not kill him. After he shot him in the leg, he doesn’t walk away but offered to help him. When Pavel offered that they both get one more shot, Bazarov declined. Instead Bazarov responded, “Now, I’m not a duelist, but a doctor, and I must have a look at your wound before anything else. Piotr, come here, Piotr!” (Turgenev 128). Not only does Bazarov choose to stop fighting but also offers to help him. These are the things that prove that Turgenev put Bazarov in a more positive light.
However, though these are all very respectable things, Bazarov is more often unsympathetically portrayed by Turgenev. While it may be argued that he showed nobility in his...