Set in nineteenth-century Russia, as the country was emerging from the painful legacy of serfdom, Fathers and Sons' theme is universal: the ideological conflict between generations. At its center are Bazarov - a posturing nihilist who rejects all social institutions - and Arkady, who has been taken in by Bazarov's revolutionary ideas. When they return from university in St Petersburg to visit their parents, their modern cynicism collides with the liberal-minded and reformist nature of their elders. Emotional concerns complicate political principles, as always, while deepening and confusing alliances. Political and domestic, witty and stern Fathers and Sons is a fresh and compassionate masterpiece that is considered to be Turgenev's best novel.
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