Zamyatin’s We

Yevgeny Zamyatin’s Dystopian Future novel We, is one of the greatest works of science fiction. We, is remarkable for a number of reasons. The first being that it draws so much from Zamyatin’s own experiences such as his naming of the auditorium. Auditorium-112 was his cell number from his time in jail. The book is a commentary about the new socialist movements in Russia brought to the extremes in the One State. D-503 the narrator, and the main protagonist is a faithful follower of the Benefactor, or the leader of the One State. D-503 believes in the socialism that the One State preaches to all of it’s citizens, however as in all Dytopian novels he has a major change of heart when he meets the beautiful I-330.

I-330 is a women who does not fit any of the accepted social norms of the One State. She smokes, drinks, and wears different clothes, but most importantly she does not believe in the complete socialism that the One State enforces. She is the first person that D-503 meets who has true ideas about individuality, and personal freedoms. D-503 soon discovers that she has a true soul, and almost follows her to the end before he figures out that she is only using him to get to the space-ship.

I-330 could be seen as a savior figure, or a Christ like figure. She like Christ, preaches something completely new and different from the acceptable societal norms. We draws many parallels with the Old Testament, and the Genesis story because of the process of creation of the One State. Zamyatin uses these parallels as a way to show his displeasure at the tearing down of the Orthodox Church, and instead being replaced with icons of Socialism, and Communism in the new Soviet Union.

We not only functions as a true political commentary, but also as one of the first Dystopian novels to be written. We has been hearkened back to throughout the 20th century as the book that started the genera of the futuristic novel with a cataclysmic future, often as a result of humanities own mistakes.