Fathers and Sons: Chapter 11,12,13
Chapter 11: Summary
Nikolay is walking in the garden, and he suddenly realizes how far apart he and his son have grown. He becomes anxiety-ridden. He starts thinking about his wife Mariya who died. Then Fenechka comes and asks where he is. He tells her to go on in, that he’s coming. She reminds him of “his grey hairs, his age, his present state. . .” (57). He becomes more depressed and begins to cry.
Pavel finds him. Nikolay tells Pavel about the state of his mind and goes away. Pavel thinks about it, but his heart “had no room for dreams” (58).
Bazarov and Arkady plan to leave to visit a relative of Arkady’s. Then Bazarov will go to his parents. Arkady asks if he will return to the farm. Bazarov says he doesn’t know.
Chapter 11: Analysis
In this short chapter, we delve deeper into the soul of Nikolay. He is filled with so much emotion. He realizes how apart he and his son have grown, he misses his wife who died, and he realizes that change is imminent and asks the universal question, “But why . . . couldn’t those first sweet memories last for ever and never die?” (56). The emerging changes in his son and in the future already have affected his own behavior; he starts to recite some poetry but stops when he remembers Arkady actually replacing a book in his hands, that he was in the process of reading, with another book.
He is enchanted with the beautiful nature that surrounds him, but that beauty is being replaced by the faces of people he loves from a distance, faces that bring him back to a world that is changing right before his eyes. The reader feels the struggles within his heart and feels sympathy for this character.
The chapter ends with the young people talking about going away, about being bored, about giving the “old people some pleasure” just by their presence (58). But Arkady still struggles within his own heart with wanting to agree with Bazarov, but he also has his own feelings that cannot be denied.
Chapter 12: Summary
Bazarov and Arkady arrive in the city to visit the son of the man who had been the Kirsanov brothers’ guardian, Matvey Ilyich Kolyazin. He invites Arkady to the governor’s ball and tells him that there will be pretty girls there. Arkady goes to an inn where Bazarov is waiting for him, and Arkady persuades him to go the ball with him.
They go by the governor’s house to meet him, and on the way home, one of Bazarov’s old friends and a pupil, Sitnikov, walks by Bazarov and Arkady. He starts talking to Bazarov and invites him to see a lady friend who lives nearby.
Chapter 12: Analysis
The scenery changes beginning with this chapter, almost at the center of the novel. Bazarov and Arkady get to show themselves off in front of Matvey, an official, who perhaps was on his way to governorship. He advises Arkady to go see the governor. We see Arkady’s immaturity in this scene with Matvey. He is obedient, and when Matvey tells him to go the governor’s ball, Arkady says he cannot dance. Matvey even tells Arkady, “I’ll take you under my wing” (61). Like an obedient servant, Arkady finds Bazarov and persuades him to go see the governor with him.
We are introduced to Sitnikov, a pupil of Bazarov’s. Sitnikov idolizes Bazarov, but Bazarov treats him as if he were nothing but a lowly servant. Arkady gets another glimpse of his friend Bazarov’s apathetic manner.
Chapter 13: Summary
Bazarov and Arkady go to Sitnikov’s lady friend’s house. Avdotya Nikitishna or Yevdoksyia Kukshina lives in a small house. She is eccentric and “artificial” (65). They talk and then start drinking, and Arkady suggests they leave. Bazarov asks if there are any pretty women, and Yevdoksiya mentions a lady that Bazarov and Arkady might like to meet sometime by the name of Odintsova, a rich widow. Bazarov seems interested.
Chapter 13: Analysis
Bazarov despises Kukshina, Sitnikov’s friend. Bazarov and Kukshina have a lengthy conversation that is nothing but an argument. But Bazarov still drinks her wine. Arkady again observes Bazarov’s brashness with the lady and with Sitnikov. The only thing Bazarov seems to take any serious interest in is when Kukshina tells him about a beautiful woman, Odintsova. They all become inebriated, and Arkady becomes irritated with the whole scene, and he and Bazarov leave.