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ĎFathers and Sonsí is a novel, which revolves around the intricate relationship between the father and the son. Bazarov and Arcady are close friends. Arcady brings his friend home to meet his father, Nicholas Kirsanov. Nicholas is happy to have his son, back home, and gladly accepts any friend of his as a welcome guest in their house. His brother, Paul however is wary of this stranger, who spouts nihilistic ideologies to them.
Nicholas is a little apprehensive of his sonís reaction to the new woman in his life, Fenichka and their son, Mitya. But Arcady is an open-minded youth and welcomes them both into his family.
Bazarov and Arcady meet Madame Anna Odintzov at a ball, and their lives undergo a drastic change. Arcady is captivated by Madame Odintzovís brilliance but Madame has eyes, only for Bazarov. Bazarov tries to maintain his detached, indifferent manner towards her, but fails totally, and is finally captivated by her. Anna however is a frigid, aloof person who likes relationships to extend only to a certain extent. The moment she realizes the extent of his passions, she puts a distance between them. Bazarov gets the message and leaves.
Arcady in the meanwhile has fallen in love with Annaís younger sister, the shy Katya. They have an open, fulfilling relationship. Katya is in awe of her sister and lacks self- confidence. It is Arcady who brings out the best in her and instills confidence in her.
Arcady marries Katya and Anna marries a rich cold lawyer. Nicholas and Fenichka finally marry and they live together happily. Bazarovís poor old parents spend the rest of their life in grief and remembrance of their lost son.
The novel depicts the role of the gifted but impatient Bazarov in changing the lives of many. Arcady is influenced by Bazarov and the Nicholas household goes through a great deal of turbulence. Even the normally placid and content Anna, finds herself at a loss, with Bazarov. The author, Ivan Turgenev has however remarkably managed to maintain a delicate balance in the relationships portrayed.