Doctor Zhivago’s Uniquely Realistic Qualities

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Boris Pasternak’s life is heavily influenced by Russians misfortunes during the 20th century. Brunsdale Mitzi describes Boris Pasternak’s life in “Boris Pasternak”: During his childhood, he lives in Moscow before he and his family escape the civil disarray by moving to Germany (par. 2). Later moving back to Moscow, Pasternak witness’s devastation, civil war, and Soviet repression that will plague the rest of his life (Mitzi par. 2 – 5). This brings his family to the decision to move back to Germany; however, not long after Germany and Russia’s peace treaty is broken, forcing a move once again (Mitzi par. 6). This time, his family moves to Chistopol where his first wife commits suicide, while he remains near Moscow working as a…show more content…
Less than three months later, Ivinskaya and her daughter were sentenced to a Siberian labor camp again” (Mitzi par. 13). The comparison between the events in Doctor Zhivago and the impossible to predict events documented by history are uncanny and suggests Boris Pasternak wrote Doctor Zhivago to accurately represent a life in Soviet Russia.
Devastation extends beyond the brutality in the Russian revolution’s nature. Pasternak’s main character in Doctor Zhivago, Yuri, could not afford to dwell on society turning against him; there are too many daily struggles that need to be met due to Russia’s continuing economic crisis. The necessities to live become scarce during this time, Pasternak expresses: “This was a time to prepare for the cold weather, to store up fire and wood. But in those days of the triumph of materialism, matter had become a disembodied idea, and the problems of alimentation and fuel supply took the place of food and firewood” (184). Food and firewood becomes such a priority because its scarcity makes finding these items a monumental task. Caroline Brooke acknowledges this in Moscow: A Cultural History “Hunger and disease stalked the capital, and the lack of fuel meant that heating homes in the winter months became a major preoccupation for families. People pillaged wood for

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