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Dr. Zhivago | Study Guide

Boris Pasternak

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Dr. Zhivago | Part Summaries

See Part Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • September 30, 1901

    Yuri's mother dies; her brother, Nikolai Nikolaevich, becomes Yuri's guardian.

    Book 1, Part 1
  • Summer 1903

    Yuri's father commits suicide by jumping off a moving train.

    Book 1, Part 1
  • October 1905

    The Moscow railway junction workers go on strike; Yuri sees Lara for the first time.

    Book 1, Part 2
  • December 27, 1911

    Yuri and Lara cross paths at the Sventitskys' Christmas party, where Lara tries to shoot Komarovsky.

    Book 1, Part 3
  • Spring 1912

    Lara and Pasha marry and move to Yuriatin.

    Book 1, Part 4
  • Fall 1915

    Yuri is sent to World War I's front lines immediately after his son is born; Pasha goes missing.

    Book 1, Part 4
  • February 1917

    The Russian Revolution of 1917 begins.

    Book 1, Part 4
  • October 1917

    The October Revolution takes place in Moscow, cementing Bolshevik rule.

    Book 1, Part 6
  • April 1918

    The Zhivagos leave Moscow for Varykino in the Ural Mountains.

    Book 1, Part 7
  • May 1919

    Yuri reunites with Lara in Yuriatin. They start an affair.

    Book 2, Part 9
  • Summer 1919

    Yuri is conscripted into the Forest Brotherhood as a medical officer.

    Book 2, Part 9
  • Spring 1920

    Yuri is reunited with Lara in Yuriatin; they live together.

    Book 2, Part 13
  • Winter 1921

    Komarovsky offers to take Lara and Yuri to safety in the Far East. They go to Varykino instead.

    Book 2, Part 14
  • 13 days later

    Lara and Katenka go with Komarovsky; Yuri lies and says he will follow.

    Book 2, Part 14
  • Spring 1922

    Yuri returns to Moscow with Vasya. After a few months, they quarrel, and Yuri becomes a recluse.

    Book 2, Part 15
  • Winter 1923

    Yuri meets and lives with Marina.

    Book 2, Part 15
  • Summer 1929

    Yuri leaves Marina and their two children so he can break away from "the old ways."

    Book 2, Part 15
  • August 1929

    Yuri's heart gives out as he travels to the first day of work at his new job.

    Book 2, Part 15
  • Summer 1943

    Nika and Misha meet Tanya, Yuri and Lara's long-lost daughter.

    Book 2, Part 16

Part Summaries Chart

Part Summary
Book 1, Part 1 In 1903 Russia 12-year-old Yuri Zhivago accompanies his uncle Nikolai Nikolaevich on a visit to the home of Ivan Ivanovi... Read More
Book 1, Part 2 Sixteen-year-old Lara begins a secret affair with her mother's part-time boyfriend, the lawyer Viktor Komarovsky. The "c... Read More
Book 1, Part 3 Six months into their affair, in the spring of 1906, Lara decides to end things with Komarovsky. Under the guise of want... Read More
Book 1, Part 4 Lara loses consciousness after the shooting, apparently struck by brain fever. Komarovsky, furious that she may have rui... Read More
Book 1, Part 5 Yuri, Yusup, and Lara are sent from the front lines of World War I to an old mansion-turned-hospital in Meliuzeevo. They... Read More
Book 1, Part 6 Moscow has changed since Yuri left for the war. The once-thriving market near his home now specializes in the trading of... Read More
Book 1, Part 7 The Zhivagos, Nyusha, and Tonya's father prepare to depart for the Urals. Yuri doesn't think it's a good idea, but Tonya... Read More
Book 2, Part 8 When Yuri gets back to his train car, Tonya immediately introduces him to Samdevyatov, a new passenger who seems to know... Read More
Book 2, Part 9 It is winter in Varykino. Yuri finally has time to write in his diary, and his musings span everything from his family t... Read More
Book 2, Part 10 Olga Galuzina, a shopkeeper's wife in Krestovozdviznensk, along the Siberian highway, worries about her son, Terenty, wh... Read More
Book 2, Part 11 Two years after he was taken from Varykino, Yuri is still the doctor for the Forest Brotherhood led by Liberius. He's pu... Read More
Book 2, Part 12 The 11 men found guilty of conspiracy—both Reds and Whites—and two men convicted of making and selling moonshine are tak... Read More
Book 2, Part 13 After walking and hitching rides for weeks, Yuri finally arrives in Yuriatin. Lara isn't home, but she has left a key in... Read More
Book 2, Part 14 About nine months into their domestic partnership, Yuri comes home to find Lara talking to Komarovsky, who has a proposi... Read More
Book 2, Part 15 Yuri leaves Varykino for Moscow. During his travels, he stops in the burned-out village of Veretenniki and comes across ... Read More
Book 2, Part 16 It's the summer of 1943. Misha and Nika are both serving in World War II, Misha as a second lieutenant and Nika as a maj... Read More
Book 2, Part 17 The last chapter of Doctor Zhivago is a selection of 25 poems written by Yuri throughout the course of the book. P... Read More
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