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Dr. Zhivago - Term Paper Example

In Dr. Zhivago, one gets a tour of the vast Russian landscape, and discovers how this environment has shaped culture and society. Through the geographical analysis of Dr. Zhivago, the viewer gets an insight on how David Lean used the topography and the seasons to mark important parts of the story. After a brief scene at Moscow, the movie shows snow-capped mountains and vast plains before it. The trees still have green leaves but the surrounding plains are all brown; which shows that it is summertime. Despite these, one will also notice that people wore thick clothes, gloves and bonnets. From this scene alone, one can already see that the setting for this movie is a cold place but we do not know where exactly in Russia this was. Dr. Zhivago, shown in this scene as a child, has come to bury his mother, but against the dreary background, it seems as if he has come to bury something else. With the magnificent mountain ranges towering above and around him, it looked as if something amazing was going to happen to him in the near future. This was immediately revealed in the next scene where Yuri is told that he can go to Moscow, a place described by Anna Gromeko as “a long way from here” (Lean 13:42). ...
With the conversation between “the girl” and Comrade General Zhivago, we can deduce that Varykino the land west of the Ural Mountains, and a few kilometers away from the European Plains, is Yuri’s birth home and the setting of the first scene described in this paper. The scene moves forward

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and Yuri is now a student of medicine in Moscow, where the landscape is different. Instead of trees, plains, and grasses we see buildings, trains and more people. This was a different place, with a different culture. From the close-knit community where he came from, Yuri has entered a new world where life is much more complicated. People wear black as mandated by the communist party; but it was also a way of protection from the cold. However, unlike the garb of the people from Varykino, clothes and lives in Moscow were more complicated as evidenced by the lives of Lara, Yuri and the people around them. Those who had money could dress up during parties but people like Lara, who had very little, wore modest clothing. Yuri’s life has been uneventful up to this point, as shown by the season - he left Varykino in winter, and this new scene opened with winter. The topography says nothing of what is happening in Russia, but David Lean uses the season to show that something else has happened. From the peaceful revolution where Pasha came out wounded, to the rape of Lara, we know that new things will be happening to the characters. From the civilized world of Moscow, Lara is next shown in a valley where there is lush vegetation. In a previous conversation with Komarovsky, we know that they are in the Gradov in the Urals. Pasha signs up with the Bolsheviks and is seen next in a sea of snow, where trees have already lost their leaves. Some


Russia’s Geography as Presented in Dr. Zhivago As the largest country in the world, Russia’s geography consists of various landscapes – from mountain ranges to plains, from rivers to frozen desert, from archipelagos to islands…
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