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Doctor Zhivago

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Lekha Ravichandran Class #3 IB English 12 Doctor Zhivago: Politics/Government Pasternak's novel, Doctor Zhivago, follows the life of the protagonist, Yurii Andreievich, who lives through the tumultuous changes that occurs in Russia during the early 20th century. The actions of the government and political affairs serve as the backdrop for the plot of the story. The war changes the behavior of the characters, makes life seem more chaotic, and the struggle for survival takes over all other aspects of life. Strelnikov, formerly called Pasha, is one example of a character whose mentality was completely altered due to the consequences of war. Pasha was once a na�ve young boy who later becomes a ruthless and violent leader known as Strelnikov. ...read more.


. . he killed them himself, felling his wife and three children with the same . . . ax that he had used to carve toys [for his children]."(370) Pamphil, once a sensitive and caring family man, resorted to murdering the ones he loved most out of pain and torment. Government and politics not only affected the individual lives of the Russians, but also the society as a whole. A prime example in the novel that illustrates the chaotic nature of the Russian society in this time period is during the train journey, where various societal classes were clustered together in the same cars: "They were a remarkable sight - rich, smart lawyers and stockbrokers . ...read more.


. ., he would not have found anyone about in the streets beyond it. All life in the city was suspended until the situation would be definitively clarified." (191) War, government, and politics has taken over their lives and finding the means for survival becomes more and more difficult as tension arises. The last sentence, "All life in the city was suspended," portrays the extent to which the lives of the citizens were affected by all the political turmoil going on. The government and the political changes complicate everything for the Russian citizens, completely altering their course of life. They find it difficult to survive, individuals are forced to reconsider their values, and societal order turns into chaos. Through the characters and events that take place, the readers are able to realize the sudden and rapid transformation of the country's political order and the effects the wars and revolutions have upon the Russians. ...read more.

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