Doctor Zhivago's Criticism Of Communism

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Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak is an epic historical romance that takes place in Russia. It tells the story of Doctor Zhivago, who is forced to live through the tumultuous conditions in Russia during the time, and it tells how war can affect a person’s life in every way. Boris Pasternak was persecuted by Stalin 's regime during the 1930s because of his individualistic views on the October Revolution, an event which had put the current government in place. Because of this, the government restricted the publishing of his books and when Doctor Zhivago was denied publication in the USSR, Pasternak smuggled the manuscript of the book to Italy where it was published in 1957. In 1958, Pasternak won the Nobel Prize for Literature, but the Soviet …show more content…
One of Zhivago’s main criticisms of Communism is that it takes away the power of the individual. “Every herd is a refuge for giftlessness, whether it 's a faith in Soloviev, or Kant, or Marx. Only the solitary seek the truth, and they break with those who don 't love it sufficiently." (5.17) In this quote, Zhivago criticizes communism as a system that ungifted people hide behind, because they have no talents as individuals, so they hide themselves within a group. One of the many ideas of communism is thinking as a group so that everyone works together for a greater good instead of thinking as individuals with an independent free will. Zhivago criticizes that, saying that it is a method of brainwashing and only individualistic thinking can lead people to recognize the truth. Another one of Zhivago’s quotes that criticizes communism is when he says, “[Still], as soon as the talk turned to what was most important, to things known to people of a creative cast, all ties disappeared except the single one, there was neither uncle nor nephew, nor any difference in age, and there remained only the closeness of element to element, energy to energy, principle to principle.” (6.34) What Zhivago is saying in this quote is that the Bolshevik Revolution was able to happen because people were brought together by one idea, which was the idea that socialism would be a solution to all their problems. However, when they were brought together by this idea, they began ignoring their families and loved ones, and were even torn apart by political issues. So Zhivago is essentially saying that the Bolshevik revolution broke up families and friendships. In this way, the Bolshevik Revolution created a situation where people were associated as being either Communist or Anti-Communist, and people began ignoring all the other

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