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MonkeyNotes-Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
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Chapter 4

Summary

On reaching the house they are greeted by a small girl, and a young lad, who carries in their luggage. A glimpse of a woman’s face is caught for a moment. Prokofyich, their butler greets them and announces that supper is ready. In a while, Paul Kirsanov enters the room. He is a suave well-dressed man, and he greets his nephew warmly. His manner towards Bazarov is however slightly cold.

At supper, Bazarov speaks little but eats well. Arcady finds himself unable to handle the sudden adult conversation he has to undertake.

After supper Bazarov exclaims about Paul and mildly derogates him for his finesse and elegance. Arcady is happy to be back home. Nicholas is unable to fall asleep immediately on account of the day’s excitement. Paul too, sits in his study, thinking. Meanwhile Fenichka sits and watches over her child sleeping in his cot.


Notes

A familial scene is played out with Arcady ensconced back in his own home, and being greeted by the servants. His uncle, Paul is now introduced. He looks very different from his brother and maintains a very distinguished personage. From his grey, close-trimmed hair to his snow-white cuff, Paul Kirsanov establishes himself to be clearly from the higher class.

It is obvious that no good relationship would be formed between Bazarov and Paul. Paul’s greeting to Bazarov is cool and he later refers to him as ‘that hairy creature.’ Bazarov too, when alone with Arcady, laughs at Paul’s pretensions existence. As he puts it, "And as for his nails-why they’re only fit for an exhibition."

It is now obvious that Bazarov belongs to the modern, intellectual class, which pays no importance to money or caste. He has no time for that class of people, who spend more time on themselves and their pretensions rather than on current national issues. Nicholas however he has taken a liking to, even if he abhors his weakness for reciting verse.

The last picture is that of Fenichka quietly absorbed in looking at her child’s sleeping form. We thus are made aware that Arcady now has a stepbrother too.

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