Nikolay Kirsanov in the System of Characters in the Novel “Fathers and Sons” by Ivan Turgenev
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Abstract: The aim of the article is to study the character of Nikolay Kirsanov and its role in the novel “Fathers and Sons” since, until recently, this character has been rather neglected, and both national and foreign critics have focused on a standard, and often schematic, enumeration of some positive qualities of the character’s personality. In order to achieve the aim and to probably reconsider the ideas and thematic plot of the novel by I. Turgenev in general, the hermeneutic, biographical and cultural-historical methods are used in the article in the context of receptive aesthetics. The suggested approach has enabled the author to argue that the personality traits of Nikolay Petrovich are determined by his relationship with Fenechka because in this case they find themselves under pressure of social inequality, significant age difference, and their mutual illegitimate son. Such an unusual behavior of a basically positive character is motivated by his belonging to the infernal sphere, which is interpreted by means of the image of “le Diable Boiteux”, i.e. “a lame devil”, with all customs and traditions of the landowners and nobility represented in it. Moreover, the character of Nikolay Petrovich Kirsanov embodied Turgenev’s personal traumatic experience concerning the writer’s illegitimate daughter. All this has allowed the author to make a conclusion that it is possible to partially reconsider most of the novel characters due to their involvement into the ambiguous situation which formed because of one of the Kirsanov brothers. The role of the character of Nikolay Petrovich and its place in the system of characters in the novel “Fathers and Sons” consists in the fact that thanks to this contradictory character, the book obtains additional pier- cing human impulse, which ensures immortality of the genius Russian writer’s literary work.
Key words: Novels; Russian writers; literary creative activity; literary genres; literary images; literary characters; Nikolay Kirsanov; system of characters; hermeneutic method.
Shteinbuk, F. M. (2021). Nikolay Kirsanov in the System of Characters in the Novel “Fathers and Sons” by Ivan Turgenev. In Philological Class. 2021. Vol. 26 ⋅ №2. P. 24-32. DOI 10.51762/1FK2021-26-02-02.