Book Review of Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons.
About the Assignment:
We invite you to write a book review “with a difference”. Ordinary reviews try to interpret the general theme and
idea of a book. Your review should also explore the “gendered relationships” portrayed in the book.
How would you go about writing such a review?
Make ‘male” and “female” your special interest and purpose in reading this novel. Allow yourself to be surprised
in how men perceive themselves, how they assess and judge women, and how women in turn relate to men.
What is the attraction? While reading, consider also the context – does the position of men and women in
society affect how they think and behave toward each other? This novel will richly reward you with insights into
About the Novel:
Turgenev’s novel, Fathers and Sons, seems custom-made for our course. Although it was written in 1859, and is
set in Russia, there are many themes resonating with our present world: ancient traditions are being radicalized
by new paradigms, and the concepts of “male” and “female” are changing and adapting to new conditions.
Please note: In the novel, the characters, are often addressed by different names –
They carry their family or husband’s family’s last name. But they are also called by their father‘s first name.
For example, the Kirsonov brothers are also called Pavel and Nicolai Petrovitch – e.g. sons of Petrov. .
Bazarov is also called Yevgeny Vassilyitch, e.g. Yevgeny son of Vassily, and his father is called Vassily
Ivanovitch (son of Ivan). .
Madame Odintsov (she is the widow of Odintsov) is also called Anna Sergyevna, e.g. daughter of Sergey, etc.