Fathers and Sons

by Ivan Turgenev

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Research the specific beliefs of both the young radicals from the 1860s and the older liberals from the 1840s in Russia. Create a picture, story, or some other sort of artistic effort in which half of the item represents the ideas of the radicals and half represents the liberals. Somewhere on this item, indicate the qualities you are trying to demonstrate for each half.

Read Albert Camus’s The Stranger and compare Camus’s existentialist narrator to Bazarov. What are the similarities and differences between nihilism and existentialism?

Research the current state of affairs in Russia, noting any particular reform efforts that are going on. How do these differ from reforms that were happening in the mid-1800s?

Research Russian art from the mid-1800s until the end of the nineteenth century and discuss whether it did or did not take a revolutionary approach, like much literature did. In either case, find one painting that you like and write a report giving your interpretation of what the painting means, as well as any historical significance it may have.

Research the complex history surrounding the emancipation of the serfs in Russia in the 1860s and their gradual establishment as landowners. Write a journal entry from the perspective of either a recently freed serf or a former member of the landed aristocracy, describing your views on the emancipation reforms. Incorporate your research into your entry where necessary.

Suppose Bazarov had not died from typhus at the end of the book and an extra chapter had been added on to talk about what happened to him in the end. Based on the transformation he undergoes in the novel, how do you predict he would have spent the rest of his life? Write a short plot summary detailing what would take place in this extra chapter.

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