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Arcady: His Voyage Towards Individualism
In the novel Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev, Arcady plays a major role both in his own life and the lives of others. Arcady, despite the shield he surrounds himself with, is not a true Nihilist like his friend Bazarov through his thoughts and actions we see his change.
To begin, Arcady shows signs of Romanticism Early on in the novel despite the announcement of his Nihilist beliefs. For example, Bazarov and Arcady were walking one afternoon in the garden and overheard Nicholas playing his cello. "At that instant the lingering notes of a 'cello were wafted towards them from the house . . . and, like honey, the melody flowed through the air" (49). Like a true Nihilist, Bazarov immediately denounced the act of playing music as a purely romantic institution. "Good Lord! At forty-four, a pater familias, in the province of X, playing the 'cello! Bazarov continued to laugh: but, on this occasion, Arcady, though he venerated his mentor, did not even smile" (50). By this we see that although Arcady looks up to Bazarov, he truly does not uphold the Nihilist beliefs as strongly or as strictly. His acceptance of his father's cello playing shows that Arcady, unlike Bazarov. does not find music a purely romantic institution, but an enjoyable way to be merry. Also this incident shows us that Arcady does not like when others poke fun at his family. Here, he obviously does not think his father's cello playing is a laughing matter.
Secondly, Nihilist ideas included the belief that love is outdated. Arcady went against this belief when he fell in love with Anna Sergeyevna and later, her sister Katya. Arcady even went so far as to tell Katya, in his own way, that he truly loved her. "It may be all the same to you, but I should like to state that, far from having any preference for your sister, I wouldn't exchange you for anyone else in the world" (174). Bazarov also fell in love with Anna Sergeyevna but realized that she would not love him back. " 'I must tell you that I love you stupidly, madly . . . . You have forced me. Now you know.' Madame Odintzov was filled with fear as well as a feeling of compassion for him. But she at once disengaged herself from his embrace an instant later she was already standing distantly in the corner and gazing at him. 'You misunderstood me,' she whispered hastily in alarm. She looked as t
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