I think that utopia “We”, written by Zamyatin, is similar to the “Brave New World” utopia. The major similarity is that both situations are similar in that the order of society is now considered to be utopian. However, after some delving into the situation and understanding the nature of the world and it’s rules and values the reader comes to understand that is a perverted utopia. It takes a great deal of patience to understand the understanding of the planet structure due to the anonymity assigned to its inhabitants. This was a different aspect in this book. Each individual in this society is assigned a first letter and a digital number to identify them. This is the ultimate subjugation of one’s personality. This is how we are introduced and identify characters like: I-330 and D-503. We clearly see this in the diary of D-503. He explains how he and another “numbers” love by a ridged Table of Hours. A glass Green Wall keeps the city separate from any exposure to natures and covert Guardians and the Operation Department, with it’s dreaded society “protect” from what they deem to be dangerous people. Criminals are publicly executed by the “Well Doer’s machine”.
The humanity of the people are being stripped away in this manner. This allows for the machines to have greater control and the people exist almost in a secondary manner to the overlord known as the “Benefactor”. Interestingly, the “Benefactor” is re-elected by an always unanimous vote by the population! The controlling humans inject a set of rules and regulations that define life and the “duty” of all “numbers”. “At night numbers must sleep; it is duty, just as it is their duty to work in the daytime” (page 58) The “numbers” are also expected to stop thinking and to calculate. People lose the personal connection needed to live meaningful lives as human beings. The have been reduced to just cogs in the wheel of society. This is why there is such heavy mathematical description and many special theorem probabilities, odd numbers and Integers are cited by the author.
While I was reading this I could only be reminded by the most repressive society existing on earth today…North Korea. The “Benefactor” vs. “Dear Leader”…unanimous elections…unrelenting work days…no due process of law…it all adds up to a hellish place to live.