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Dr. Zhivago - Term Paper Example

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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. It has volcanoes, snow-capped mountains and an extensive coastline. It is a country with a…
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Dr. Zhivago
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Dr. Zhivago

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). From this part of the story, we can now make sense of Comrade General Zhivago’s question to “the girl” whom he believes is his niece “Does the name ‘Strelnikov’ mean anything? ‘Strelnikov’... ‘Varykino’. That’s a place, not a person”(Lean 8:37-8:48). Looking at the map, we can see that Varykino is located in the west of Moscow, near the European Plains. We know that Yuri is not from Moscow, though he spent much of his life there. 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 and Yuri is now a student of medicine in Moscow, ... Read More
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