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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
Nicholas Petrovich Kirsanov with his valet, Peter, are waiting for the arrival of his son. Nicholas owns a farm, which is rented out to some serfs. Both he and his brother Paul were born in Russia and had led a tutored life. Both had registered at the army but Nicholas had to leave, because of an injury. Paul meanwhile had continued and has got his commission in a Guards regiment. Nicholas had later married a cultured girl called Masha, who had borne him their son, Arcady. Ten years later his wife had died, leaving him in a shock, which he never came out of.
When his son Arcady grew up, he took his son to St. Petersburg and stayed with him for three years, while he pursued his course. Though the last term, Nicholas is unable to stay with his son and he returns to his farm. He is now waiting for his sonís return after having completed his studies.
Peter, the valet spots his arrival and reports it to Nicholas and soon Arcady comes forward to hug his father.
The novel begins with a detailed description of Nicholasí background and life. The characters are introduced but less importance is given to Arcady in this chapter. He will be drawn out in detail, later.
A regimental childhood is what Nicholas had gone through with great importance been given to education, the military and later, the degree. His marriage to Masha was probably considered an ill match by his parents but they were happy while she lived. The wifeís loss had probably strengthened and intensified the tie between father and son, which is why Nicholas is seen awaiting his sonís arrival so eagerly.
Arcady is merely introduced as a beardless sun tanned youth, in this chapter but the bonding with his father is already evident.
A technique of the author to be noted is the manner in which he interrupts the narrative to provide Background Information.