Fathers and Sons

by Ivan Turgenev

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Does Ivan Tugenev support or criticize Russian society in Fathers and Sons?

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I am not certain that either might fully apply to Turgenev.  I think that he was able to sense that there was a schism developing in the Modern Russian psyche, and his articulation of it through the work might have been more of what is as opposed to his own belief in it.  He was able to understand that modernism, as a force, is different for a Russian than for any other European to fully grasp.  Given the strong rural approach to Russian society and the inevitable embrace of transcendent values in the Russian psyche, the nihilism and embrace of Modernist values would have a more profound impact on Russia than other European social orders.  Turgenev saw that Russia was changing in this light and articulated it before most others understood it.  A culture that is rooted in transcendent notions of totality such as religion or art would have a natural collision and an inability to understand the nihilist and materialist construction of the modern setting.  I don't think that Turgenev was happy or dismayed at such a vision.  As a true modern thinker, he might have been articulating what is.

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