The final chapters of We, to me seemed like a giant roller coaster of emotion. Everything began to spiral down and become unwound, with events fluctuating between calm and chaotic. This is essentially why I believe the ending is really well written. The statement
“Because Reason must prevail.” (We .232) is so powerful, that upon reading it, I put the book down and just “Wow.”
D-503’s down fall was that he was infatuated with I-330. This new sensation caused him to lose focus on what he began doing at the beginning of the book. As the book progressed and he delved deeper into this emotion, he began to act without reason and on impulse only due to his feelings. Now, I am not condoning the fact that he was operated on to lose those feelings, as I truly believe at times it’s good to act on a whim (in a controlled situation of course, not in the downfall of your society), but the book does have a moral to it. I was truly not expecting that ending.
We, was very much a book that took you down the rabbit hole. I think it really does a great job at capturing raw, human emotion. The beginning was a bit rough for me, but towards the middle I began to feel more comfortable with it, as it turned more into the perspective of someone wrestling with his feelings, and that is something I can relate to. One of these days I will definitely give it another read through, as I feel the second time around, it will hold much more subtle little hints about the end than on the first, but for now, I must say, I am quite content with what I read and definitely will recommend it to someone.
I haven’t blogged about this story at all and as we finish this story I find it, as it was when we started, difficult to blog about it. This was a really confusing story to follow for me personally. As I read the last words in 40th entry two feelings ran over me. One was relief. I was elated that this story was finally over! The next feeling was pure confusions! What just happened? What did I Just read? The only clear thing was the book was finally over!
The final entry, which to me was the clearest entry, explained that D-503 under went the operation and confessed all his crimes to the Benefactor, and name everyone involved. It seemed to me that after the surgery he did not know who I-330 was, as if she was erased from his memory. He was returned to the same obedient, law abiding citizen he was in the beginning of the book. Which I for one was glad that he was. The new, corrupted, confused D-503 made no sense to me and it made for a difficult to read to follow his story.
I-330 was being, for a lack of better words, tortured, to tell the truth and admit her crimes but she refused too do so, she remained silent the entire time. For me I was glad she was finally brought to justice, because I think she was using D-503 from the beginning. I think it was mentioned that this was true when D-503 went to the Benefactor’s office. I have this whole conspiracy theory about her evil intentions with D-503.
I believe that D-503 Guardian, S, was in cahoots with I-330 from the beginning and set the whole thing up. I believe he knew that I-330 was planning this for lack of better terms again, “revolution”, and he also knew that D-503 was the builder of the integral. I also feel that he knew D-503 was weak minded and easy to manipulate. I feel he knew that I-330, as beautiful and cunning as she was could easily manipulate D-503 into do what she wanted. I think that he knew that D-503 would never turn in I-330 and if for some reason he was to turn her in he would turn her into himself, s, and therefore their secret would be safe.
The whole story to me, started off ok, then it became interesting once I-330 came in the picture then it just got weird, and confusing. There were several entries where I didn’t know if he was dreaming or if it was actually happening. This book really made me appreciate Brave New World, and I’m kind of disappointed I took it for granted. It was a much simpler read and easier to follow along. The character plots were easier to follow and dissect and the storyline seemed to flow effortless. I found that We was way more challenging, which made me less enthused to read it and it became more of a task, something I had to do as appose to something I wanted to do.
At the end of “We” the reader is exposed to a shocking ending. After riding the roller coaster of the evolution of D-503’s human condition, he is brought back to the numbness of this dystopian world. He is stripped of all his normal human feeling and starts recording his entries that was his original mission. “No delirium, no absorb metaphors, no feelings: nothing just facts(page 231)”.He has lost all of his feelings, his human emotions and he is turned back into a Human robot. Despite his best intentions the authorities take him and alter him with an operation, After the operation, he betrays to the Benefactor the enemies plans. “How could it have seemed so difficult before? Incredible. The only explanation I can think of is my former sickness( the soul)”(232).
Throughout the novel, we see the evolution of D-503’s conflict and the torment of his soul as he struggles to find his humanity. From his example, We seems that numbers become a cog in the wheel of society, where there is no personal connection and attachment. The author shows two different D-503 in the novel, one that is a normal human being with his feelings and reaction, he wants to stop the Benefactor and his minions because he feels that he is individual and wants his own way of personal happiness, “Absolute happiness should, of course, carry a minus sign-the divine minus”(184). And the opposite D-503 when he is an empty number , who’s purpose is calculation and that has been stripped away from basic humanity and frankly from himself. He is just another cog in the wheel, who exists to perform his responsibility for the one State. In essence, it makes D-503 discover two ways of living ,that makes him suffering from this and creates conflict. ” Who are We? “Who am I?”(219). This is the main question of the novel. What is the purpose of your own life, what is your desire. “We” are the representatives of society, which has total control and produces manufactured happiness for everyone. It has destroyed individuality and freedom, making humans empty numbers.
Connecting to the “Soul” is what everyone in the One State thought of as a sickness, that makes you desire and explore your own happiness. His soul is was made him change his direction and way of thinking that makes a stand against people from empty numbers. But in the one State this is considered a sickness because it is danger to the collective . It makes them be individual and follow his heart. “A human being is like a novel: until the last page you don’t know how it will end. Or it wouldn’t be worth reading…”(162). Benefactor cant calculate D-503’s behavior when he has a feeling to I-303 , we seems that he wants to help ancient people and make a revolution. In the end of the story Benefactor told D503 secret of the design structure the One State “True, algebraic love of humanity is inevitable inhuman; and the inevitable mark of truth is -its cruelty”(231).
I hope that you are enjoying the last little bit of Spring Break. Just a reminder that we meet this Thursday, 4/24. For that class, you should do the following:
1. Finishing reading We (Entries 27-40) and blog in response.
2. Essay #2 Pre-Draft. There is not word limit for this pre-draft, as long as you have all of the required pieces: full Introduction paragraph, 3 claims (topic sentences for three body paragraphs), three pieces of evidence (in support of those claims) with citations. Post your pre-draft to OpenLab (categorized as “Essay #2 Pre-Draft”) and bring 4 printed copies to class.
You can always check what is due (and how) on our course Schedule.
Reading the novel “We” was just entries about life and order of the One State which has it’s flaws based off of some of D-503’s feelings that he tried to leave out the book. His purpose was to convince other life forms to let the One State take over their society since it is better that way based on their views of life and order.
I noticed that D- 503 love for I-330 was the main reason why he started to doubt the One States ways of life. She made him pour some of his feelings into the book with out him not realizing it, he eventually noticed and started to say that he wants to tell the readers how he feels but that isn’t the purpose of this book at all. “but the heart is nothing but an ideal pump; compression, shrinkage, the sucking in of fluid by a pump are technical absurdities”(171) his statement was D- 503 being very confused about the pain in his heart because of his feelings which he hates to show/ experience and he feels that it’s a waste for such pain to occur since he can’t tell the difference from love or pity towards affection from others.
D-503 knows that his love is only for I-330 but he can’t help but to love her although she is using him for the revolution up rise against the One state which makes him frustrated.”I know : the integral is to make its first, trail flight the day after tomorrow. On that day we shall seize it”(175) she says this to him as if she already knows that he will help her. He finds her plan to be absurd and it will cause him issues. D-503 goes along with the plan since I-330 has him where she wants him to be. This cause D-503 to question the One state even more since he is willing to help.
D-503 understood that the great society was falling to its end. “You are the first to hear it: according to my calculations, there is no infinity!”(250) thinking that a society could last forever is wrong according to D-503 it will eventually fall depending on the circumstances that the society is at. This theory makes his mind run wild about taking over .
D-503 still can’t believe that he really wrote this book although it is clearly his writing and in his possession it still don’t seem that it was him who wrote it ….which was confusing to me since he questioned his work. It seemed that he just questions everything but his love towards I-330. The uprise has made D-503 ready to take over more areas based off of his reasoning and problem solving skills which gives him the confidence to push on towards a new future for the world.
I found this story to be interesting yet confusing since I had to pay attention to each detail of D-503’s life from him being concerned about small minor issues such as radical negative one to trying to take over the One state for a revolution of change.
The purpose of D-503’s personal entries is to write down and express how life in the One State is considered to be the ideal world of perfection by spreading happiness by secluding freedom from everyone’s lives. In his entries, he is directly speaking to those he plans to convert and bring to the One State. However, recently his entries have fallen off course to the original concept, D-503 expresses more his love for I-330 rather than the main objective as to why he decided to write in the first place.
It’s interesting to see the development of the character D-503 just based on his writings specifically, towards the end of his entries. Seems like in the beginning he was trying to avoid being around I-330 and prevent himself from falling in love with her for many reasons but I couldn’t help but think of one in particular. In the One State promiscuity is practiced by all citizens and I think this is pushed upon in order to prevent any form of feelings to develop between the numbers. If a number has feelings towards another number then it would not be considered a number anymore but that of a human being, an individual, something different. But yet, no matter how hard he tries D-503 gets closer and closer to feel like am individual in the One State, he states, “‘I cannot… Without you. I want nothing without you,’ I said, or merely thought–I am not sure– but she heard” (Zamyatin 185). At this point he does not think of himself, he thinks about others. I-330 is on his mind more than the tables of hours are, which is something completely different to that of another number. It’s almost to the point where he may perhaps be a little obsessed over I-330.
His journal entries surround the idea of the integral and as well as his profound love for I-330 but as the reader, I noticed that the farther he got from the original concept of the entries, that it soon became his personal journal. As he writes his thoughts and feelings into paper he has to consider that others will read this as well and be a witness of his torn relationship of the One State and the green wall. because of this fact, he becomes hesitant many times to even finish his thoughts, at times he begins a thought but never finishes. In one if his entries he states,”I am ashamed to read the last lines I had written yesterday. But it is all the same now; let them stay as a reminder of the incredible thing that might have happened–and now will not happen…no, it will not happen” (Zamyatin 178-179). This quote to me to shows how he is torn between expressing himself freely or keep in mind the real objective of these entries. Either way, I believe even though D-503 is conflicted in many ways it helps him reflect to maybe perhaps and think about what life outside the One State may be like as well as if he really did find happiness.
A particular part of the 30th entry caught my eye; It was explanation of the revolution planned by I-330. “”My dear – you are a mathematician. More – you are a philosopher, a mathematical philosopher. Well, then: name me the final number.” What do you mean? I . . . I don’t understand: what final number?” “Well, the final, the ultimate, the largest.” “But that’s preposterous! If the number of numbers is infinite, how can there be a final number?”” (174) In the excerpt, I-330 challenges D-503 in a way that he can understand her reason or cause for a revolution. This shows the subtle differences between the two and their position in society, mentally. D-503, even more then half way through the book still needs things to be explained at a more mathematical level for him to understand outside of his square mind created by the One State. No matter how far along in the story we are D-503 always reverts back to his safe zone, his square mind, the One State.
I-330 explains the revolution a little further and compares it to the final number. “Then how can there be a final revolution? There is no final one; revolutions are infinite. The final one is for children: children are frightened by infinity, and it’s important that children sleep peacefully at night . . .” (174) With this excerpt I-330 explains that her plan is not to end the One State in one shot but to continue a revolution for children and for their future. She has a sort of hope that children will question the One State and all it stands for just as she has, and will band together for the same cause. Maybe in doing this slowly and secretively will create more numbers and will eventually be enough to overthrow the One State, only a few rebels are powerless.
Concluding from the previous excerpt that children will go on to be the new rebels in the One State, I-330 states that “Children are the only bold philosophers. And bold philosophers are invariably children. Exactly, just like children, we must always ask, ‘And what next?” (175). Understood in this quote is a very interesting way of looking at things. Children truly are bold philosophers inside or outside of the contexts of this book. Questioning everything trying to find a final cause, children are naturally curious. In leaving her mark on this society as a rebel, it can be the spark that will ignite a flame of questioning in these children, and hopefully have it spread throughout to the others. Possibly and eventually leading to the down fall of the One State.
D-503 responds to this rebellious talk and says “There’s nothing next! Period. Throughout the universe – spread uniformly – everywhere. . . .” then I-330 says “Ah: uniformly, everywhere! That’s exactly where it is – entropy, psychological entropy.” (175). I-330 responds to D-503’s ignorance and basically says that this system that he cherishes so much will lead to psychological entropy, a unpredictable change in behavior. I-330 believes that spreading this way of life throughout the universe may be working fine now but down the line it will change and the people will become unpredictable, one of the major fears of the One State; any utopian/dystopian novel.
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.