How the Russian Revolution Changed the Lives of People in Different Social Groups in Russian Society The Russian Revolution was supposed to bring about change for the better and be a fantastic new beginning for the troubled state of Russia. However, the concept of a revolution is sometimes a lot more appealing than the actual results of a revolution. Revolutions never occur without hurting a certain group of people, which goes without saying, but they also try to better life for other groups. The Russian Revolution seemed to cause much pain and misery, but the benefits from this revolution appeared to be few if any.
Nobles, who once had incredible power and prestige, were then stripped to single room houses and bitter cold because they had to money to buy coal. The working class of society changed from being bitter poor to being moderately impoverished. The Russian Revolution hurt many people and helped few. In the movie Dr. Zhivago, many cases are shown to illustrate how the Russian Revolution changed the lives of people in Russia. Perhaps the most altered group of people by the revolution was the nobles. Before the revolution, nobles lived in opulent houses and had grand furnishings.
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This is shown when Yuri is in his house with the Gromykos. The house had two doors you had to pass through in order to enter the house in order to keep out the cold. The house had the most beautiful colors and was very large indeed. Also, a large chandelier hung from the roof. After the revolution the Gromyko’s house was taken over by the state and was turned into an apartment complex. What once held one family was made to hold thirteen families. All the beautiful furnishing were either stolen or destroyed, and all the fantastic colors were turned to dreary grays, blacks, and browns.
The Gromykos were forced to live in a single room with a few closets, when they used to own an entire house thirteen times the size of that room. The Gromykos were required to save little pieces of sausage and salami in order to survive when they used to have more food than they knew what to do with. The once noble family is now made to save fuel and only light the stove when it is absolutely necessary, even in the bitter cold. This is shown when Yuri comes home and the stove is not lit. He yells at Tanya because he thought that she was merely lazy and did not bother to light the stove.
Yuri feels awful when he finds out that there is no longer enough fuel to light the stove for the whole day. This forces Yuri to risk his integrity and even his life to go steal wood from fences around the town. The living habits were not the only things changed for the nobles by the Russian Revolution, but also the social habits. In the beginning of the movie, Laura and Victor go and dine at a very fancy restaurant with all the greatest food, such as duck. The restaurant is carpeted with elegant dark maroon carpeting and painted with the most elegant colors.
This is in stark contrast with the type of restaurants they will probably end up going to after the revolution. A middle to low class restaurant is shown in the movie and the difference is astonishing. The walls are a bleak off-white and the floors are a hard and weathered wood. The chairs looked very uncomfortable and almost specifically made to be unpleasant. This is not the only thing that changed socially for the nobles, though. Before the revolution, nobles were respected even when in the most unsavory situations.
For instance, when Yuri was helping people in the street who were hurt when he wasn’t supposed to, a soldier came up to him and kindly asked him to go inside and then saluted him. This is a huge difference to the treatment nobles got after the revolution. Laura and Yuri are followed by the secret police and Yuri and Tanya are criticized for once having a large home that could easily house thirteen families. In contrast to the nobles, the working class of Russia did not experience much change after the revolution. In the movie, the working class is shown to have very ugly clothing and to be very unhappy.
This is shown when some of the working class people are protesting outside of the noble’s restaurant. In order to stop this protesting, the government orders the protestors to be cut down like dogs. The working class people are mercilessly killed because they have no status. This is not much different after the revolution, where the secret police can take you out of your home and shoot you if they believe you are against them. Also, in the movie, there is a scene of a burned down and destroyed village. This village was filled with poor and working class people.
The reason it was destroyed was because of the Russian civil war which was part of the revolution. Countless middle class people died because of a “political” agenda. About the only good thing that came out of the Russian Revolution for the working class was the establishment of schools. However, this too was tainted. This is demonstrated in the scene when Laura’s daughter is talking about school to Yuri. The daughter says that the Tsar is an enemy to the people. It is obvious that indoctrination is used by the communist government after the revolution.
There are also many things that affected both of the social classes for the worst. It did not matter if you were a noble or poor, these things affected you. In the movie there are many examples of relationships being destroyed because of the Russian Revolution, the civil war, and World War I. Because of the revolution and World War I, Pasha and Laura are no longer married. This is because Pasha is required to be loyal to communism and no one else. Also, Tanya and Yuri are separated forever because of the Russian civil war.
Yuri is drafted by the Red Army without Tanya knowing, and Yuri is taken away for two years to crush the rebellious White Army. In addition to relationships, property is also claimed by the government without consulting anyone. This is evident in the movie when the Gromyko’s country house is taken over by the communist government, and no one is permitted to enter. Another instance of this is, in the movie the Holy Cross Hospital is renamed to Second Reformed Hospital because religion was not allowed in this new communist government and since the government could do what it wanted, it repossessed and renamed the building.
The Russian Revolution started out as a very righteous idea but ended as a horrible atrocity. A great number of people were hurt and very few people were helped. The government turned out to be more like what people were trying to change than their idea of what a changed government should be. As shown in the movie, Dr. Zhivago, all social classes were in some way or another worse off after the Russian Revolution.