Fathers and Sons Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe Nikolai's parents.

Nikolai comes from a privileged background, his father serving as an army general. His mother was quite the opposite, a refined woman who reveled in the finer things and maintained a respectable distance from her children.

2. Describe Nikolai's life up until the story's present.

Nikolai was home schooled until the age of fourteen, when he was sent away to school, graduating from the same university he has sent his son Arkady. When his parents died, Nikolai returned home to the family farm and married a girl named Prepolovensky. Nikolai and Prepolovensky became the proud parents of Arkady, living happily on the farm until Prepolovensky's untimely death, ten years into the marriage.

3. What is Nikolai's current state?

Nikololai's grief is immense, his hair is turning completely gray, but he shows no signs of caring as he leads a solitary life, emerging only to take Arkady to St. Petersburg. Now this man of forty years, who looks much older, stands and waits for his son's return.

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