Which Roles Do Sceneries Play in the Novel “Fathers and Sons”?
Sceneries can be construed as maybe one of the most important means of expressing a person’s perception of the world. Images of nature are always full of spiritual, philosophical, and moral content. They are the picture of the world which defines the attitude of the person to the whole environment. It is a rather complicated and multidimensional entity that takes shape in the tradition of thinking, with a variety of historical sources and forms. The scenery is often given a minor role in the plot of a novel albeit it has been demonstrated how nature enters into human consciousness, turning into a symbol, lyrical reflection or a warning in Turgenev’s “Fathers and Sons.” The problem of poetics of the scenery in prose works belongs to the most complex issue. The point is to find out what role plays scenery in “Fathers and Sons” and whether it is bad or good.
To start with, almost all of Turgenev’s works are characterized by wonderful landscape paintings of Russian nature (Axelrod, Mark). What is more, there is an enormous amount of descriptions. “Fathers and Sons” is not an exception. A Russian village with children under dark, often half-sweaty roofs, with curved threshing sheds woven, with humus walls and yawning collar, with its ignorance, abortion, poverty, and complete devastation. The reality is depicted on the background of the wonderful nature.
Secondly, in the epilogue of the novel, the author depicts a landscape reminiscent of a requiem (Axelrod, Mark). In such a way, Turgenev sums up the outcome of Bazarov’s life, showing how his personality dissolves against the background of eternal nature. Next, to the facts, whatever passionate, sinful, rebellious heart is hidden in the grave, the flowers growing on it look at people with their innocent eyes serenely. They do not speak of one eternal tranquility to them, of that great tranquility of the indifferent nature. All in all, they also speak of eternal reconciliation and the life of the infinite.
Thus, the landscape in the novel is an essential mean of reflecting the author’s position. With the help of the view, Turgenev expresses his attitude to Bazarov’s assertion that nature is not a temple, but a workshop, contrasting it with a romantic picture of a summer evening. It should be noted that, in the novel “Fathers and Sons,” there are much fewer descriptions of nature and lyrical digressions than in other works of Turgenev. It can be explained by the very genre of the socio-psychological novel, in which political disputes play the leading role, revealed through dialogue. It was through dialogue that the author managed to reflect the ideological struggle, to illuminate the actual problems of his time from different points of view, and to show the purity of nature.
Every conceivable indicator makes the point; all the artistic means of the novel are subordinated to its genre singularity, aimed at revealing its ideological content. It happens very often the inner world of the characters will not reproduce them directly. It usually occurs through appeals to nature, which perceives a person at that moment: “Whereas I think: I’m lying here in a haystack… The tiny space I occupy is so infinitesimal in comparison with the rest of space, which I don’t occupy and which has no relation to me. And the period in which I’m fated to live is so insignificant beside the eternity in which I haven’t existed and won’t exist… And yet in this atom, this mathematical point, blood is circulating, a brain is working, desiring something… What chaos! What a farce!” (Turgenev, Ivan Sergeevich). What is more, the point is not only that the landscape can in some way influence the mood of the hero itself in the novel, but also the fact that the hero is very often in a state of harmony with nature and the state of nature becomes his mood. This technique allows Turgenev to reproduce thin, but at the same time, the most interesting features of the character of the hero.
Consequently, one of the most subtle methods of Turgenev’s psychology is the image of the emotional state of the characters through the analogy with the state, construction of nature. In Turgenev`s novel, all of the depicted sceneries make the last point in the narrative as they put up an emotional summary of the life of the heroes.
To sum up, everything that was mentioned above, nature is a temple, but not a workshop. Turgenev wanted to make this point clear. The attachment of the world of nature and the world of people, the representation of the first in the second made the novel “Fathers and Sons” unrivaled spiritual, sensual, and original piece of work compared to the novels of many other writers. True happiness can be achieved and last all life only in harmony with the outside world, and not violence over it. The heroes of Fathers and Sons” have proven this at first-hand.
Axerold, Mark. The Poetics Of Novels. Palgrave Macmillan, 1999.
Turgenev, Ivan Sergeevich. “Fathers and Sons.” Barnes & Noble, www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fathers-and-sons-ivan-turgenev/1116670500?type=eBook.