Analysis Pages

Allusion in Fathers and Sons

Allusion Examples in Fathers and Sons:

Chapter III

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"Eugène Onegin..."   (Chapter III)

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin’s most famous work is Eugene Onegin, a novel in verse which Pushkin wrote and published between 1825 and 1832. The novel traces the story of the title character, a highly educated, world-weary young man who moves from St. Petersburg to the country. Onegin becomes a mentor to a naive younger man and an object of desire for a young woman, whom he initially rejects and then longs for. In both personality and action, Bazarov resembles Onegin. Turgenev introduces this allusion with irony: Bazarov despises poetry, despite the fact that he mirrors one of the central characters of Russian poetry.

"'The Sphinx is yourself.'..."   (Chapter VII)

Paul offers Princess R. a ring with a design of the Sphinx, a figure in Greek mythology who has the head of a woman and the body of a lion. The Sphinx is an enigmatic creature, and Paul outright states that it is a metaphor for the princess. The naive princess is flattered by the accurate but unpleasant comparison. The Sphinx offers riddles to passing travelers, devouring those who cannot answer correctly. The princess is Paul’s Sphinx. She contains a riddle he cannot solve, and his endless attempts to do so ruin his life.

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