Essay 2 Pre Draft


In the book “We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin, character development is essential to the plots overall development. D-503’s development throughout the story is important because it is influenced by a certain person, I-330. After meeting I-330, D-503 goes through many changes and experiences things that are abnormal to that of the One State’s Ideals and is distracted from his original plans in the beginning of the book and this can be seen through his journal entries.

Claim 1 – D-503’s feeling of “sickness” is a sign of him drifting from the ways of the One State.  “My mathematics- until now the only firm and immutable island in my entire dislocated world- has also broken off its moorings, is also floating, whirling.”(101).

Claim 2 – After meeting I-330, D-503 starts to question many things of that of the One State.    “Does it mean, then, that this preposterous “soul” is as real as my unif, as my boots, although i do not see them at the moment? And if the boots are not a disease, why is the “soul” a disease?”(102)

Claim 3 – After meeting I-330, D-503 is following more of his instincts and less of Reason and towards the end, he goes back to Reasoning. “Because Reason must prevail”(232).


After finally finishing the book I realized how short it was and how it ended on a strong point, unlike Brave New World. The plot developed so nicely as we see D-503 at the end of the book reverting back to his original self, before meeting I-330. I still have many questions though for the author. If I had the chance, I would like him to confirm if I-330 was in fact in love with D-503, or was she merely using him because of his knowledge of the One State. There are times where it sounds like she is crazy in love with him but I feel like it doesn’t convince the reader that she is because even though it is just a reading, you would feel the emotion. An example of this can be seen in the twenty eighth entry where I-330 and U talk to D-503 about O-90, “I know you will believe me, not the thousand. Because, after what happened yesterday, I am open to you-all of me, to the very end, just as you wanted. I am in your hands, you can – at any moment..”(161). After hearing this, D-503 is blushing so much that he can’t seem to talk straight. I can’t help but to feel that she is saying this with no meaning and it is just words to get D-503 to become more attached to her. I also can’t help but to feel that their initial meeting in the beginning of the book was all planned to use him for the plan to take down the One State.

When the Great operation was announced on the Gazette, D-503 was relieved and grateful because this would help him fix his “sickness” hes been feeling. I found this interesting because I would think that he would be against it because of his changed self after meeting I-330. I thought after all his new thoughts on the soul and everything would help me see things differently in the One State. After receiving the Great Operation, D-503 is “Claimed” by the One State once more and snitches out I-330 and her organizations plan to take down the great wall . Although they were sentenced to the end and the ending of the book seemed gloomy, I think it is a ignition of something. A light that will eventually mark the end of the One State. There are starts of rebellion in the One State and some people from the other side of the wall get into the One State. It looks like I-330 and her organization had failed but the truth is their plan on manipulating D-503 worked to their favor and got their plan started to overthrow the One State. I think it’s sad to see D-503 go back to the way he was but I think it’s good for him now he is finally out of I-330’s palms and is living the way he was meant to, even if it might be the wrong way.

We can see his disbelief of his own feelings at the end of the book, “Can it be true that I, D-503, have written these two hundred pages? Can it really be true that I once felt or imagined that I felt-all this?”(231). It also seems that after the Great Operation, he forgot his memories of I-330 as he does not remember her as she is being tortured. Overall I think the book did a good job on the overall plot and the characters development. I would definitely recommend this book, of course, to someone who likes to read about dystopias.



D-503’s ultimate decision

In these entries, we see D-503 going through a lot of hard experiences with him discovering himself. We also see how I-330 has affected him in the seventeenth entry. She has him head over heels and has D-503 come to the ancient house to meet her. This part is where it got kind of confusing to me because of all the events happening at once. He reaches the room where they are supposed to meet but she is nowhere to be found and then he goes through a dying experience(literally), and this is where I’m not sure what exactly happened. How did he “die” after he opened the closet door is probably my biggest question in these chapters.

Whats really interesting about I-330 is that she is such a mysterious character and yet a life changing character for D-503. She makes him question the things the One state says about things such as mental illness. In the first few entries of this weeks reading, he starts to question what the soul really is and if it really exists or not. In the One State it seems that having dreams means that you are having a mental illness and it is in these dreams that D-503 questions the existent of the soul. “But the horror of it is that these invisible bodies exist, they must, they inevitably  must exist: in mathematics, their fantastic, prickly shadows-irrational formulas-pass before us as on a screen.(Yevgeny 101)” We see ask about the soul at the bottom of page 101, “Does it mean, then. that this preposterous “soul” is as real as my unif, as my boots, although i do not see them at the moment? And if the boots are not a disease, why is the “soul” a disease?” This last line is so important because it marks the start of him doubting the things he was told and taught about.

There was a small part in the seventeenth entry that really caught my attention. When he is on his way to the ancient house, he sees through the green wall, a beast. The exchange between D-503 and this beast is interesting because he questions himself after a while, what if this yellow eyed creature in his uncomputed life, is happier than the people of the world state. He doubts this later where he says, “What absurdity-that he could possibly be happier than we are!”(Yevgeny 95) but I believe that HE actually believes this but can’t admit it.

In these entries, we also see D-503’s ultimate decision, impregnating O-90 and giving her a child illegally. It seems that O-90 realized D-503’s obsessive love with I-330 and sends him a letter saying she loves him so much that she is willing to let him go to I-330’s side. In the letter she says, “I cannot live without you-because I love you. Because I see, I understand: today you don’t need anyone, anyone in the world except her, the other one, and you.. understand-just because I love you I must..”(Yevgeny 106) It also seems that he is still has lingering feelings for O-90 because after reading the letter he says, “Never again. Yes, it is better that way, she is right. But why, then, why..(Yevgeny 106)” I think he finally decides to have sex with her because the first sentence of the last paragraph in the 19th entry he says, “That was the last.”. Last as in the last time he will sleep with her and I think this is also a sign of him finally getting rid of a burden and a sign of relief that he can finally fully commit his love to I-330.


Numbers Define Everything

Going into the first few pages of the book, I was expecting it to be maybe a utopian society but once again, we are dealing with a dystopian society. I find it interesting that the book is actually a diary and that we’ll be seeing the story from a first person perspective. From the very start of the book, we can already see similarities between “We” and “Brave New World”. Like in Brave New World, We has a all knowing force in the name of the Benefactor. In the One State, it seems there is also a dress code just like in Brave New world, “The numbers walked in even ranks, four abreast, ecstatically stepping in time to the music-hundreds, thousands of numbers in pale blue unifis. And also like how the World State was the running force of the world in Brave New World, the One State is the all powerful society. I think this book gets into a more darker theme, where this society forces others to think like them and if not, they are harshly punished. From the first entry we can see the goals of the One State, to go to different planets to subjugate the unknown beings on the planets. I find it interesting here where it says “If they fail to understand that we bring them mathematically infallible happiness, it will be our duty to compel them to be happy.”(Yevgeny 1) because it shows how much power the One State is asserting and stating to the people.

They’re basically saying that if you do not side with us, we will force you to. They say they will reason with words first but I find that unbelievable. I also think its interesting how they don’t call it just happiness but mathematically infallible happiness. Everything in this society has to do with numbers, especially their names. D-503 to me is a interesting and confusing character to me. At times it seems like he embraces the ideas of the One State but at times it seems like he doesn’t. In the first entry where it says, “And then to myself, why is this beautiful? Why is dance beautiful? Answer: because it is unfree motion, because the whole profound meaning of dance lies precisely in absolute, esthetic subordination, in ideal unfreedom.”(Yevgeny 4) shows that he believes in the idea of controlled actions and on page 34 we can see that he doesn’t like what he’s doing but I’m not sure if he was complaining about the overall assignment or the eyelash or person hes referring to is unpleasant.

I am also assuming that in “We”, love is something that is ignored and unimportant to the society, just like in “Brave New World”. I say this because on page 8 D-503 talks about sexual days here, “She had come to me only he day before, and she knew as well as i did that our next sexual  day was the day after tomorrow.” It seems as if they are assigned days perhaps to have sexual intercourse. D-503 seems like the character to like the idea of being with a girl but not the actual idea of love. On page 4 where O-90 comes to pick him up for their daily walk at the sight where the integral is being built, D-503 expects her to talk about the machine he built but instead talks about how nice spring is. “Marvelous, isn’t it? I asked. Yes, marvelous.” O-90 smiled rosily at me. It’s Spring. Well, wouldn’t you know: spring… She talks about spring, Women..I fell silent.”(Yevgeny 5) I found this part funny because it’s how expectations in real life are shot down. This part also seems like he wants to get with her but is uninterested after seeing how shes not paying attention the machine he built.


Anti Climatic – John’s Last Fight

After the rising tension coming into chapter 14 to 18, the book just ends on a low note. You would think with all the excitement and drama with Bernard and the director, the ending would end with a bang but no, it ends flat and disappointing. Characters who had major character developments revert back to their old ways and you can’t hope to feel that you’ve “lost” after reading the end of the book. Firstly I want to talk about John. In chapters 14-15, we can see him struggling with the World State’s ways and his fight to end their ways. At this point, John is the only one who is fighting against the World State now. We can see any hope he had in the World State vanish when his mother Linda dies after an overdose of soma. He is also angry at the World State because of what the World State turned had turned his mother into. She went so overboard with the soma, she did not even recognize John until after long moments of yelling from John. Now that he sees what the soma does to the people of the World State, he is even more furious and motivated to change their ways.

I think part of the reason for John’s outburst at the hospital is not only caused by his mothers death but also because of the children there not understanding what death meant to someone. Death to those twins at the hospital meant nothing to them. Naturally even if you did not know someone that they died, you would feel a bit sorrow but these kids have been conditioned to not have these feelings. On page 184, we can see their conditioning where John says, “What are these filthy little brats doing here at all? It’s disgraceful! Disgraceful? but what do you mean? They’re being death conditioned.” They also have no guilt of making fun of John’s mother which also shows their inability to see or have love.

John is so enraged that he tries to convince these Delta twins to stop taking soma and to choose freedom instead. I think John was trying to help them see what he was finally seeing, that the World State is messed up and is depressing. This part also leads into my discussion about Bernard’s character development. After John chucks the twins soma out the window, they engage in a fight. Helmholtz and Bernard just arrived and we can see that Helmholtz is not hesitant to help out John. Bernard on the other hand is hesitant. You would think after all hes been through that he would help John out. After all that talk about changing the World State, he decides not to help. However he did feel some shame because of his indecisiveness. On page 193 we can see Bernard’s struggle with himself on the bottom of the page, “Hesitant on the fringes of the battle. They’re done for, said Bernard and urged by a sudden impulse, ran forward to help them, then thought better of itand halted, then ashamed, stepped forward again and was standing in an agony of humiliated indecision.” The reason why I’m angry at this is because the story had set up for Bernard’s incredible character development, his confidence, his ability to see what he has done wrong but it all falls flat right here. The way I see it is that, if he had chosen to help out John and Helmholtz, it would signify his desire to fight against the World States ways. If he chose not to, that means he has given up to the World State and has accepted it’s ways.

At the end of the story I think it’s very anti climatic. Reason because we do not learn of the other characters and John’s disappointing end. I think readers always want the characters the win at the end but in the case we can see it as a failure because nothing about the World State was changed. Nothing was changed, 18 chapters and the World State continues to be the overwhelming power that controls everybody. Everyone’s efforts to change the World State, down the drain. If I had the chance to ask Aldous Huxley anything, I would ask Huxley why he chose to have the characters “lose”, their battle against the World State.

Bernard’s lost ways and Lenina’s new found love

These chapters were really the turning point of the book and probably the most intense part. The big secret is finally revealed and some characters go through some changes. It seems to me that the Director uses fear to get what he wants but the intention of using fear is not actually mentioned. The Director gathers the workers at the factory to make a public announcement of him banishing Bernard to Iceland. We can see him using fear in a way and of him exerting his power in chapter 10 on page 137, he says, “It is better than one should suffer than that many should be corrupted. Murder kills only the individual and after all, what is an individual? We can make a new one with the greatest ease, as many as we like.” To me this shows that he is not hesitant to kill off any of the people to create new ones to more benefit the World State. It’s kind of his way of saying, you mess up and I’ll have you gone.

After the Director is shamed by Bernard, revealing his son to the factory, he finds new fame and kind of a new identity for himself. Although he was of upper class, he was not noticed as much. After he became John’s official guardian, he suddenly becomes popular and this fame gets into his head and the way I see it, makes him lose his ways. At first it seems like Bernard’s only intention with John was to expose the Director but now he is just using him as a tool to make him popular. I also say he is losing his way and that the fame is getting to his head is because he is ignoring what he cherished as a person before, his purity and justice he had.

In page 145 we can see a example of him and Hemholtz talking and Helmholtz hints at Bernard that he is losing his way. It says, “And I had six girls last week, he confided to Helmholtz Watson. One on Monday, two on Tuesday, two more on Friday, and one on Saturday. Helmholtz listened to his boasting in a silence so gloomily disapproving that Bernard was offended. You’re envious Bernard says. Helmholtz shook his head. I’m rather sad, that’s all.” Helmholtz realizes his change of ways and is disappointed of him. Back then in the earlier chapters, the idea of being with more than one women or man was absurd to him and disgusted him.

I also found this part of the book interesting because we kind of see a change in Lenina. She was never really satisfied with one man and always had multiple relationships. With John however, it is completely different. She feels that he is the only one that can distract her and to me it seems that the more he rejects her, the more she wants him, kind of how a player is in real life. On page 157, we see that Lenina is not used to his rejection and is so torn by this, that she has to take soma to relieve herself. It says, “Drying her eyes, Lenina walked across the roof to the lift, On her way down to the twenty seventh floor she pulled out her soma bottle. One gramme, she decided, would not be enough.”

Brave New World CH 6-9 Response – Allen R

I think these chapters are finally where the plot actually starts moving and gets interesting for me. We now see Bernard in a troubling situation where he might potentially be exiled to Iceland because of his actions. I also thought it was really cool to see someone rebel against this society and the director like how Bernard did. As Bernard asks permission to go into the Reservation, the Director recalls a time when he went there and met a moment but lost her. Bernard says you must have had a terrible shock and i think it is here where Bernard takes a jab at him.  I also think this is also a part where we see a hint of the director’s weakness. In page 95 the directors says, “Don’t imagine, that I’d had any indecorous relation wit the girl. Nothing emotional, nothing long drawn, It was all perfectly healthy and normal. Furious with himself for having given away a discreditable secret, he vented his rage on Bernard.” Perhaps the director still has some “emotion” left in him or in other words, his old self before this society came to be. This part also makes me question if Bernard will use this information against the Director is some kind of rebellion. In these chapters, the soma was talked about a lot. During their trip to the Reservation, Lenina keeps urging Bernard to take some soma to calm himself down. It seems that soma is very important to this new society, like a new drug that calms you down. It calms Bernard down to the point where he is comfortable enough to have sex with Lenina. There was also a point in these chapters where Bernard learning a part of the Directors past may have backfired on him. He calls Helmholtz only to find out that the director stayed true to his words of sending him to Iceland. In page 100, you can see how depressed Bernard turns in a instant, from feeling rebellious, to scared. In the middle of the page it says, “What? He’s looking out for some one to take my place? Bernard’s voice was agonized. So it’s actually decided? Did he mention Iceland? You say he did? Ford! Iceland… He hung up on the receiver and turned back to Lenina. His face was pale, his expression utterly dejected.” You can see how slowly his feelings change from being anxious, to being scared.

I thought it got really interesting when Bernard finds the little boy John in the Reservation. He learns that his father is really the Director in the world State. I think this is a crucial moment in the book because it seems like no one else knows about the Director having a son and in this time, is a disgrace. It also seems like Bernard plans to take John back to the World State in order to disgrace the director. To me it seems like this is revenge for Bernard for being exiled to Iceland by the director. It is also introduced again in these chapters where having babies naturally is seen as inhumane. Linda, John’s mother, did not want to go back to the world state because she felt disgraced for having a baby.

Brave New World Respone(1-5) – Allen R

Judging from the title of the book I assumed the book to take place in a paradise island kind of type, probably because that’s how I imagine a utopia. After reading the first few chapters, I was completely overwhelmed. The ideas in which they enforce in this new world is just absurd to me. The fact that in this new world they create new human beings in a factory instead of natural conception, to me is just inhumane. How did they drift away from how the world once was? All these insane ideas kept me reading and kept me questioning like what was the initial spark of all this happening? One of the major conflicts that I see is probably the fact that before even born, you’re controlled by an outside party. Before they’re born, they are assigned a caste or a role. Not only that but they assign their profession as well. In order to fit that profession, they manipulate their likes and dislikes to benefit their jobs. How is that even living, knowing that you been destined to a role and have had your life fixed to this role. I also found the imagery of the first few chapters very interesting. They clearly describe it as a factory but the writer describes all the different parts of it such as the hatchery, the nursery and the play room with all the kids in it. The writer manages to put a mass producing factory in our heads and gives us a clear image of it. It seems that the staff of the factory are afraid of people teaching these kids of the old ways of life. They are scared that they might rebel and corrupt these kids thinking the way they live now is wrong, which in my opinion is. Mond is a clear example of this as the director is cautious of him trying to corrupt the kids. The book also said that there were rumors of Mond having books that they consider forbidden such as the bible and poetry. I think Mond will have a huge impact later on the book as he might be the key to changing this corrupt society. I think it’s more of a dystopia because all these decisions made to the humans are not of their free will. The factory people are just playing god, assigning roles and everything. Each person should be able to change their destiny and have their own way of living but their way of cloning and manipulation is just inhumane .I also find it kind of ironic that there are still relationships that still go on in the story. Lenina and Henry are a example of this. You would assume that with all this artificial human creation process would wipe out the power known as love. Perhaps Lenina and Henry will see that the way things work in life right now are not right and might do something about it. I’m looking forward to how the story progresses in the next chapters, hopefully someone will question the factories ways.

“The Machine Stops” Reponse – Allen

In “The Machine Stops”, at first you may think it’s based on a utopian society but in reality, it is a dystopia. This is a science fiction based dystopian story which is primarily centered around this thing called The Machine and the main character Vashti. From what I analyzed, it seems Vashti and perhaps others living in this society have become accustomed to this new way of life of machinery. It seems everything they do relies on the works of these machines such as touching a button to call for food, clothing and even music. Vashti also refers to this “Machine” quite often, as if its a living thing or a higher being of some sort. The beginning of the story gives us a brief summary on what has happened to earth and what “rules” the world now, which is the Machine. People who are living in the Machine might seem happy but people like Vashti’s son Kuno, wants to explore the world outside of the Machine or what they call the surface of the earth. What really intrigues me is this line, “You talk as if a god had made the Machine.”(Forster 2) This really shows the despise Kuno feels for the Machine because in a way he blames it for turning his mother into this machine relying person who can’t do anything without the machine and who is ignorant of the outside world. It really saddens me to see how reliant Vashti is on the machine. In her isolated room in the machine, she has a book called the book of the machine which has instructions on how to deal with any future events that may happen or contingencies. It’s so sad it even tells her what buttons to press and all. After reading throughout the middle part of the story, i start to believe the possibility that the Machine may refer to their god. In page five she quotes, “O Machine O Machine! Thrice she kissed it, thrice inclined her head, thrice she felt the delirium of acquiescence. Her ritual performed.” A normal person would not go this far to worship somebody unless they were some kind of higher being. Another line from the story that I found really fascinating was “So the human passions still blundered up and down in the Machine.(Foster 5)” After reading this line multiple signs, it supported my idea on what this society is really like, a dystopia. This line suggests that human passion was unnecessary and is foolish to consider. Blundered up and down, meant that careless mistakes still existed in the machine. This suggests that in the Machine, mistakes are unrealistic and abnormal. I feel that mistakes are what societies need. Mistakes are how people learn and grow, they learn from what they did wrong and try to improve themselves on being better people. In the middle to the end of the story, it displays some irony. Vashti starts to see the flaws of the Machine and realizes the thing she worshiped so much, was only a step back into despair which separates her, from her son.

Le Guin Response – Allen

In Le Guin’s, “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”, I was surprised and liked how the author chose to start off by describing the setting of the story. Not only did it provide a great imagery of the introduction, but it also gives us a basis of the feeling of the story. It gives the reader a sense that the setting of the story is quite peaceful and lively and happy with the Festival going on and with children casually playing around. The narrator of the story is so happy and joyful, he doesn’t even know how to describe his own townspeople or fellow citizens(third to last line of first page). As I read into the second page of the story, its tone sounds completely different from the start and it surprises me. I’m not sure if it was the authors intention on throwing us off by starting off with this happy and joyful place but then showing off the dark side of these people. “The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting.” This line is where it starts to confuse me and shocks me  on how the people of this town really are. I think one of the ideas that this story is trying to express is the idea of an utopia or their definition of a utopia. The author writes about how there are no specific rules, no stock exchange, advertisement, secret police and etc. Le Guin also adds to this idea of a peaceful utopia is that they have no use of violence. no swords, no slaves, and not barbarians. Although the narrator seems to be a spectator and not a citizen of this society, the ideas of this society seem to be obvious and well known.

Like in Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”, his other story “The Day Before the Revolution” start off similar by talking about the setting and giving us a brief imagery of the scene. In the third page of the story, I got confused if there was a transition from the scene in the beginning to the third page, and i thought it was a flashback at first. The first sentence from the third paragraph really intrigued me, “The Toes, compressed by a liofetime of cheap shoes, were almost square where they touched each other, and bulged out above in corns; the nails were discolored and shapeless.” This really grabs my attention because in one sentence, the author describes the character in many ways. It tells us that the main character has gone through tough times and perhaps living a life of poverty to some extent. The author also provides us with a lot of imagery of the main character. The character describes herself as disgusting, sad and depressing and this really gives us the feeling that the character is disorganized and not confident with herself. I liked this because it got me brainstorming on how the actual plot will go. The language and style of writing in this story was a lot harder than in “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.”