Skip over navigation

Dr. Zhivago

Boris Pasternak

Chapter 8: Arrival

Chapter 7: The Journey

Chapter 9: Varykino

Summary

Yury realizes that life in the Urals is very different from life in Moscow. Everyone seems to know each other at the station. He is greeted by Tonya, who tells him that at first they were very worried when he was escorted to Strelnikov's room, but then they were told what was happening.

Back in his own carriage, Yury converses with a Bolshevik named Samdevyatov. He mentions his plan to live off the land, and Bolshevik tells him that he is thinking naively. Yury tells Tonya that he has a sense of foreboding. They are the only passengers to get out at Torfyanaya. Gromeko speaks to the stationmaster about their plan to go to Varyniko, and the man guesses that Tonya is the granddaughter of a man named Ivan Ernestovich Krueger. He warns her not to tell anyone of her association with the former landowner.

The Zhivagos ride out to Varyniko in a horse-drawn carriage. They go to meet the Mikulitsins, who are shocked that the Zhivagos have chosen to settle in Varyniko of all places. Mikulitsin disparagingly implies that they are related to Krueger. Finally, he relents and offers the Zhivagos a room. The Zhivagos are amazed to discover that the Mikulitsins have real sugar and tea. Mikulitsin begins to discuss physics. When Zhivago asks how he knows so much about the subject, he says that he had a very good teacher who was married to another teacher but went off to fight in the war.

Commentary

Again the Zhivagos are confronted with the past. They travel back to land once owned by Tonya's family, with the notion that although it is dangerous to admit to being related to former landowners they may be able to obtain some special treatment there. They find that it is difficult to hide Tonya's lineage and are received in different ways by the people they encounter. The most important person they meet, Mikulitsin, is at first put off by the Zhivagos' clear connection to the former gentry, but he relents and allows them to stay.

Pasha is again mentioned obliquely. Mikulitsin also believes him to have been killed on the front, and it is clear that many people living in the Urals are familiar with both Pasha and his altar ego Strelnikov, without understanding their connection to one another. While at this point the action is focused on the Zhivago family, the mention of Pasha and his wife foreshadows Lara's reappearance in the upcoming chapters.

More Help

Previous Next
Importance of Yuri's view of communism

by chavezgt, October 27, 2013

I believe that something very important that Pasternak wanted to express is how someone's view of communism can change when he see's it from an inside perspective. When he's still a student, and lives with Tonya he supports communism for what it represents. Nonetheless, once the bolcheviks had taken Moscow, he truly lived communism, with the scarcities, and negative aspects it has, and his opinion about it changed. Because of the political context around the work, I believe that this fact must be considered while analyzing this novel.

0 Comments

4 out of 4 people found this helpful

Follow Us