|Christina (ex_christina217) wrote in book_discuss,|
@ 2008-05-30 01:28:00
|Entry tags:||science fiction|
21. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, translated by Mirra Ginsburg
We is a dystopian satire, written in 1922, in the early days of the Soviet Union. It is said to have been an influence on 1984 and Brave New World, but it is, I think, superior to those works. It is far less dark than 1984, with a wonderfully satirical feel to it, as opposed to the preachiness of 1984.
We takes place 1,000 years after the establishment of the One State, a worldwide nation, run on the basis of pure logic and mathematical precision. It is written as a diary by the narrator, D-503, chief builder of the spacecraft Integral. The Integral is to bring happiness to alien worlds who may still be living in the "primitive condition of freedom". By way of evangelizing to any aliens who may be discovered, all citizens of the One State who are capable of doing so are ordered to produce writings exalting the joys of the One State.
D-503 begins innocently, enthusiastically, believing in the perfection of the One State and the carefully-regimented, unfree, society. However, he encounters a woman, I-330, who causes him to question his society. Gradually he loses faith in the One State, descending - as he sees it - into sickness, into madness. He develops a sense of individuality, a soul.
Despite his growing discontent, he continues to see the problem as being within himself, not with the One State.
Amidst this discontent, which is shared by a growing number of citizens of the One State, a bold new discovery is announced - State Science has found the location of the imagination in the brain, and has developed an operation which will remove the imagination, removing the last barrier to "happiness".