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Doctor Zhivago > Doctor Z - Week Five - Varykino, The Highway, The Forest Brotherhood

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message 1: by Dianne (last edited May 30, 2017 02:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dianne | 9 comments Varykino - In this chapter Dr. Z waxes quite a bit about a range of topics. He first encounters Lara in the library but does not confront her at this point, but manufactures a meeting later. It appears that they have known they were each in town but have not seen each other for the year they have been there. Unlike their prior encounters, at this point they engage in a full blown affair and Laura tells Dr. Z that her husband Pasha is Strelnikov. Dr. Z seems to feel guilty about the affair and decides that he will break it off. Tonya knows nothing about it. On the way to tell Lara he is breaking things off, Dr. Z is captured and made prisoner.


Dianne | 9 comments The Highway - At the beginning of this chapter we hear about Dr. Z's travels once he is made prisoner, and then the novel transitions to a story about a woman named Galuzina. She is distraught about what has become of Russia. We see that Mikulytsin's son Liberius is leading a political meeting and that he was the one who ordered that Zhivago be captured. Meanwhile, there is a nearby explosion and many soldiers hide under a house to avoid being detected as abandoning their duties.


Dianne | 9 comments The Forest Brotherhood - At this point Dr. Z has been a prisoner of the forest army for two years and serving as their doctor, which has kept him quite busy. Liberius has become fond of Dr. Z but the feeling is not mutual, as Dr. Z finds him quite tedious. At one point Dr. Z shoots a young solider unintentionally and nurses him back to health. Dr. Z goes to have a conversation with seemingly insane Pamphil Palykh but en route overhears a plot to kill Liberius when he is taking a nap in the forest. However, it appears to be a trick by one of Liberius' men and all of the supposed conspirators are shot. When Dr. Z finally talks to Pamphil, P tells him that he was the first man to shoot Gitz, who was the man who fell in the water barrel.


Dianne | 9 comments A few questions on this section:

1. Were you surprised that Pasha was Strelnikov? Why do you think he took the role that he did?

2. Do you sympathize with Dr. Z in this section with respect to his affair?

3. Do you think Pamphil is insane or are his concerns a normal consequence of being in a war zone and having killed many people?

4. What side is Dr. Z on in the war?

5. What do you think the point of the Galuzina digression in the novel is?


Greg (gregreadsalot) | 200 comments Dianne wrote: "A few questions on this section:

1. Were you surprised that Pasha was Strelnikov? Why do you think he took the role that he did?

2. Do you sympathize with Dr. Z in this section with respect to ..."

Wow, Dianne, you asked hard questions! 1)YES, absolutely, I was surprised Pasha was Strelnikov! (I don't recall that being in the movie.) BUT, that fact goes a long way in telling us why Lara continues to be in love with both characters.
4) Dr. Z takes no sides as far as his actions. Reminds me so much of "War and Peace" in which Pierre is on his way to assassinate Napolean, but he takes time out to save a child from a burning building, so by then it's too late to do anything about Napolean, Pierre is arrested by the French army, and oddly accepts his imprisonment. It was Pierre's thought about killing Napolean that didn't reflect the true Pierre, a man of little action, even in regards to his love life. Pierre preferred to just take a ride on life, sort of like Zhivago: the opposite of Pasha, certainly, as Pasha is a man of complete conviction. Thus, the main reason Lara loves them both, and the main reason why I think this story is, above all, Lara's love story.


MichelleCH (lalatina) | 41 comments I agree. Great questions. I found this section a bit trying. I'm not a big fan of the fighting and different factions. I find it a bit confusing and I keep checking back to review the Whites and the Reds history.

I feel like a lot has happened to Dr. Z in such a short life. Lots of coincidences as well. The reappearance of Lara was refreshing and I was surprised but not surprised by their affair. She was a familiar in such a long period of unfamiliar (war, travel, a new home).


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