The Roles of I-330 and O-90
Zamyatin’s We is a story set far into the future. There is only one country, OneState, and the government controls everything. The story is actually a diary written by the main character, D-503, that is to be sent aboard a space shuttle to other planets in order to describe the greatness of OneState. The diary details the changes that take place in D-503’s life and way of thinking. A woman who was known as I-330 brought about these changes. This anarchistic woman corrupts D-503, throughout the story and steals him away from the woman who loves him, O-90. These two women, and especially I-330, have major roles in the story that documents D-503’s gaining of a soul.
In the beginning of We, D-503 is satisfied with the life he is living in OneState. As a mathematician, OneState is perfectly suited for him. All daily events are scheduled to a certain time block in the day, the citizens have alphanumerical names, and OneState is attempting to create a law of ethics based on addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. He is a builder of the space shuttle, Integral, which will colonize other planets. D-503 spends his time with a woman referred to as O-90, or O. O-90 is D-503’s only girlfriend at the beginning of the story although O has two boyfriends. It is not until later on in the story, when D-503 comes to have another girlfriend, I-330, that his life begins to change drastically.
O is important to the story because she represents a woman of the old days. She is in rebellion against the OneState that D-503 loves, although she is too peaceful and naïve to resort to violence. She is described as looking like her name, short, round, and with the circle of her mouth always open. O’s wrist has a circle of puffy flesh that is described as being babyish. O is much like a woman from the twentieth century. While D-503 is oblivious to nature, O-90 admires the spring season and the...
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