We - Response Paper

Topics: Yevgeny Zamyatin, We, Nineteen Eighty-Four Pages: 4 (1422 words) Published: September 18, 2013
We
Response Paper

We, a novel completed in 1920 by Russian author Yevgeny Zamyatin is considered a dys-Utopia. While a perfect world is described as a Utopia, a dystopia is just the opposite. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, defines a dystopia as “an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives” (361). The protagonist of the book is designated as D-503, a mathematician, and the First Builder of a spaceship known as the Integral. The One State is controlled by the Benefactor, an almost God-like figure, along with an organization known as the Guardians. It is the responsibility of the Guardians to be on the lookout for those who might display irrational and dangerous behavior against the One State. Through a series of events, which I will detail throughout this paper, and a relationship with a cipher designated as I-330, he is swept into a failed coup attempt to overthrow the Benefactor and the One State. As We unfolds, D-503 informs us that he is keeping a journal or record, to be included in the cargo of the Integral, of all that he sees and experiences: “I will just attempt to record what I see, what I think – or, more exactly, what we think. (Yes, that’s right: we. And let that be the title of these records: We)” (4). It is intended to be a record of all that is good about the One State, praising its efficiency, and the happiness everyone experiences. “The Benefactor, the Machine, the Cube, the Glass Bell, the Guardians – all these are good, all these are majestic, wonderful, noble, sublime, crystal-clean. Because they guard our non-freedom – that is, our happiness” (55). It is through this unique perspective that the story, along with his personal struggles, fears, thoughts, and decisions that lead to the downfall of the revolution, is ultimately revealed. The story deals with numerous issues, among them, self-awareness, such as when D-503 states, “Before, everything...


Cited: Boeree, Dr. C. George. Professor of Psychology. A Brief History of the Lobotomy.
2001. Shippensburg University. 3 February 2008.

“Dystopia.” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 10th ed. 2003.
Wirick, Pastor Patrick. The Shining Star. February 2008: 2.
Zamyatin, Yevgeny. WE. Trans. Natasha Randall. New York: Modern Library, 2006.
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