As part of our reading of We, we are exploring the un/reliability of the narrator/narrative, the conflation of fact/fiction, the revision of memories, the reconstruction of experience, the ways in which storytellers attempt to portray their own, individual, personal truths (which may not be the same as the “objective” truth or the dominant view of the State). As a dystopian novel explicitly written in the form of a journal, We is a rich text for performing a close reading around these “self-conscious” moments in the narrative.
I am particularly interested in us tracing how, through the act of writing itself, D-503 moves from merely recording the values of the One State that he has already internalized, to developing an individual, rebellious, free-thinking understanding about the world and his place in it. Consider the journal entry titles and headings, D-503’s comments on why he is writing/who he is writing for (and how/why this changes), conflicts, competing sets of values, etc.
In preparation for Thursday’s class (4/10), everyone should post at least two comments (one for the reading, Entries 1-16, from Th 4/3, due by Su 4/6; one for the reading for Th 4/10, Entries 17-26, due W 4/9) as a reply to this post (though I encourage many more) that provides places where D-503 explicitly draws attention (in a meta-fiction way) to the fact that he is carefully/consciously constructing a narrative and controlling his reader’s reception of the text. Your comment (reply) can be just a few sentences: provide the quote/citation and a quick explanation of how/why it functions. Feel free to post multiple comments, and also to respond to others. If you’ve already discussed some of these instances in your previous blogs, you should feel free to draw on that material.
We’ll add to these comments with the final section of the book we’ll read during spring break, until we have a class-generated archive of all of these instances in the text.