A novel about the beginning of the revolutionary movement in Russia,
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This review is from: Virgin Soil (Kindle Edition)
Virgin Soil depicts the years that followed the emancipation of the serfs in Russia, and the revolutionary movement which was to be set under motion by the nihilists and the militants who saw a better, fair and just future in abolishing the rights of the gentry and the landowners. The novel is not at the same masterpiece level as Fathers and Sons, but nevertheless addresses the issue well and quite broadly. It shows the ideology pervading not just ordinary young people, but also those born in well to do families who turned on their older generation and became convinced with the cause. Turgenev demonstrates the difference in approach between the protagonists, those who rushed headlong into action but ill prepared and ended up receiving severe punishment, and those level headed who knew the time would come but was not yet ripe. The Russian peasants, ignorant of their welfare as it were, could not understand this new upheaval and what being truly emancipated was all about. They were still reliant on the old masters, who turned the new situation still to their advantage. But through the wonderfully written dialogue, one could glimpse in the distance the eventual 1917 revolution and the creation of the communist state.