Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Yevgeny Vassilyitch Bazarov

Yevgeny Vassilyitch Bazarov (ehv-GEH-nihy vah-SIH-lihch bah-ZAH-rof), a nihilistic young medical school graduate and Arkady Kirsanov’s closest friend. Arrogant and ruthless, Bazarov believes only in the power of the intellect and science. As a revolutionary, he feels himself far superior to Nikolai Kirsanov and his brother. To him, they are hopelessly antiquated humanitarians. He tells them: “You won’t fight—and yet you fancy yourselves gallant chaps—but we mean to fight. . . . We want to smash other people.”

Arkady Kirsanov

Arkady Kirsanov (ahr-KAH-dihy kihr-SAH-nof), Nikolai’s son and Bazarov’s naïve young disciple. For a time, he worships his leader and echoes everything that Bazarov says; however, Arkady lacks the necessary ruthlessness required for a revolutionary spirit. He is unable to believe, as Bazarov does, that a good chemist “is twenty times as useful as any poet.” After Bazarov’s death, he marries Katya and settles down to a prosaic life on the family estate.

Nikolai Petrovitch Kirsanov

Nikolai Petrovitch Kirsanov (NIH-koh-li peht-ROH-vihch), Arkady’s gentle, music-loving father. Possessing a liberal, well-meaning spirit, he is happy to free his serfs and to rent them farm...

(The entire section is 528 words.)