Fathers and Sons: Characters
Father Aleksey is Bazarov’s parents’ priest who is invited to dinner when Bazarov is visiting his parents. Father Aleksey is clever and socially adept with young people.
Anfisushka, Timofeich, Tanyusha, Fedka, Fiodr
These are all servants at Bazarov’s estate.
Vasily calls her Arisha. She is Bazarov’s mother, a Russian gentlewoman, who loves her son with a passion. She relies on her husband for support in helping her control her emotions. “Her full cherry-red lips and the small birthmarks on her cheeks and brow emphasized its sweet-naturedness” (117). She is extremely grieved by her son’s death.
Vasily is Bazarov’s father, a humble man, a country doctor who served in the military and worships the ground on which his son walks. He is also a devoted husband. He represents the older, traditional generation who has an appreciation for nature and land. He loves his son very much.
Bazarov is a deeply flawed individual, the antagonist in the novel, and is probably the most entertaining. His extreme self-confidence fuels his strong work ethic. He is the epitome of youthful resilience and self-reliance—that persistent sense of immortality that draws everyone to him.
Dunyasha is the nursemaid for Fenechka. She also is attracted to Bazarov and tries to flirt with him every chance she gets.
Agathe is Nikolay’s mother. She was a general’s lady, and died soon after Nikolay’s father passed away from a stroke in 1835.
Arkady is Nikolay’s son, whom his father adores. Arkady is much like his father, gentle and meek. Bazarov calls him a softee. Arkady leaves his home to go to university, the first time on his own, and his quiet, meeker personality causes him to be dominated by the stronger personality of Bazarov. Eventually as Arkady grows and experiences life, he becomes aware of this and breaks off from Bazarov.
Masha was the daughter of a minor civil servant, with whom Nikolay fell in love and married. He only had ten years with her, and she died. They lived very happily together. Nikolay thinks of her often and misses her.
Nikolay is Arkady’s father, a farmer, a humble man, and brother of Pavel. He marries a woman who dies after ten years with him, and he takes it very hard. He spends a lot time with his son. He falls in love with a servant girl and has a child with her and moves her into his house. He has several servants on his farm, but he has financial difficulties. He is an honorable man and loves his son dearly. He is wise; he knows when to speak, when to be silent. His fault lies in being so meek sometimes that others take advantage of him.
A very proud man, and Nikolay’s beloved brother, Pavel’s extreme vanity is attractive to women, but rather repulsive to men. The plot between Pavel and Bazarov is at the center of the novel. Arkady reveals Pavel’s sad story to Bazarov, hoping to make Bazarov feel sorry for Pavel and perhaps like him, but it doesn’t work. Pavel is one of the characters in the story who fails at love.
Matvey is the son of the Kolyazin who had once been the Kirsanov brothers’ guardian. He is a progressive statesman who invites Arkady to the governor’s ball.
Called Kukshina, she is Sitnikov’s lady friend. Bazarov, Arkady, and Sitnikov visit her. Bazarov is totally repulsed by this woman. She is a female version of Sitnikov. She introduces Anna Odintsova to the young men at the ball.
Fedosya (Fenechka) Nikolaevna
The daughter of a landlady of an inn where Nikolay once stayed, she comes to be with Nikolay for financial security after her mother dies. They have a child together, and Nikolay keeps her in his house but doesn’t marry her because of his brother, Pavel, who also is in love with the girl. At the end of the novel, Nikolay does marry her after Pavel comes to terms with his own past, allowing Nikolay to move on with his own life as well.
Mitya is the seven-month-old baby of Fenechka and Nikolay. Because of Mitya, Bazarov is able to befriend Fenechka. He later kisses her, and this leads to the climax of the novel, the duel.
Anna is a clever, rich widow in whom Bazarov and Arkady take an interest at the governor’s ball. She runs her life in systematic order, takes an interest in Bazarov and seems to love him, but “she was a free spirit and quite strong-minded” (76), much like Bazarov himself. She is educated and attractive. Namely, she is the catalyst for Bazarov coming out of his shell and realizing what’s in his own heart. She visits him on his death bed, and he reveals his love for her.
Porfiry is Anna Odintsova’s neighbor who likes to come over and play cards.
Princess AvdotyaStepanova X
Princess X is Anna Sergeyevna’s aunt, who comes to live with Anna after her husband dies. Princess X is self-indulgent, sickly, and takes all the best rooms in the mansion for herself. She is symbol of high class society in Russia.
Princess R is a minor character but a necessary part in Pavel’s growth. She is his love interest, for whom he ruins his career. She was married to someone else and had no intentions of leaving her husband for Pavel. Pavel follows her around for years. He never marries and is another character in the novel who fails at love.
PavelKirsanov’s man servant; he is the oldest servant in the Bazarov household, the only one who dislikes Bazarov.
Pyotr is the Kirsanov brothers’ main servant.
Katya is Anna Odintsova’s younger sister, who lives with her. She enables Arkady to free himself from Bazarov’s influence by falling in love with Arkady. They marry at the end of the novel. Although Katya is very attractive and talented, she feels inferior to her older, more beautiful (she thinks) sister. Bazarov is also attracted to Katya, but only because he is young and innocent.
Victor serves the purpose of providing further growth for Bazarov’s character. Victor is a naive pupil of Bazarov’s and worships the ground on which Bazarov walks. He interrupts the flow of the novel at just the right times, keeping the reader’s interest peaked. No one likes Sitnikov and makes fun of him. He also helps Arkady see into his own weakness as a pawn for Bazarov. Sitinikov does anything BazarBazarov asks him to do, the same way Arkady does.