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Imagery in Fathers and Sons

Imagery Examples in Fathers and Sons:

Chapter I

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"when ten years had been passed in this idyllic fashion..."   (Chapter I)

While Hogarth's translation maintains the essence of this passage, the original Russian directly translates to "Ten years passed like a dream" (Десять лет прошло как сон). This information is important for understanding Nikolai Petrovich's, and even Arkady's, attachment to their estate in the country. Note too that Hogarth uses the word "idyllic," which has romantic connotations country life. The overall effect is to paint an image of a kind of a unique, almost timeless, place in the country, removed from the concerns of the world. When Arkady arrives at Marino, pay attention to the description of the estate and see how it compares with this initial image.

"cheek by jowl..."   (Chapter III)

The idiom “cheek by jowl” suggests close proximity. In this context, the suggestion is that the huts in which the peasants live are jammed together. This serves as one detail in a scene of overall squalor.

"On his linen jacket and trousers was a thick coating of mud, to the crown of his ancient circular hat clung a piece of sticky marshweed..."   (Chapter V)

The image of mud and marshweed on Bazarov’s outdated clothing represents his character and values. His interests in science, which led him into the marshes, overshadow his concern for formalities or appearances. In this way, he contrasts greatly with his foil Paul, who is always properly groomed and dressed.

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