We

by

Yevgeny Zamyatin

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The Benefactor Character Analysis

The Benefactor is the authoritarian dictator of the One State. The One State’s ciphers regard the Benefactor as a living God and live in great fear of his wrath. He preaches that happiness can only be achieved through the removal of desire and unpredictability. At the end of We, the Benefactor summons D-503 to his chambers and informs him that I-330 never truly loved him—she had only been using him to get to the Integral and set the revolution against the One State into motion.

The Benefactor Quotes in We

The We quotes below are all either spoken by The Benefactor or refer to The Benefactor. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Modern Library edition of We published in 2006.
Record 25 Quotes

What will tomorrow bring? What will I turn into tomorrow?

Related Characters: D-503 (speaker), The Benefactor
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:
Record 36 Quotes

“The most merciful Christian, God himself, slowly burning all the recalcitrants in the fires of Hell—is he not an executioner? And were there really fewer burned at the stake by the Christians than Christians who were burned themselves? And yet, understand this, and yet, they glorified this God as the God of Love. Absurd? No, the opposite: it is testimony, written in blood, to the ineradicable good sense of a human. Even then—wild, shaggy as they were—they understood: true algebraic love toward humankind is inhuman—and the sure sign of truth is its cruelty.”

Related Characters: The Benefactor (speaker), D-503
Page Number: 187
Explanation and Analysis:

If only I had a mother like the Ancients: my—yes, exactly—my own mother. She would know me as—not the Builder of the Integral, and not cipher D-503, and not a molecule of the One State—but simply a fragment of humanity, a fragment of herself, trampled, squashed, thrown away…”

Related Characters: D-503 (speaker), I-330, The Benefactor
Page Number: 189
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Benefactor Character Timeline in We

The timeline below shows where the character The Benefactor appears in We. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Record 1
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
...may acquire “mathematically infallible happiness.” The State Gazette makes this announcement in the name of the Benefactor and ends its proclamation by praising the One State, ciphers, and the Benefactor. (full context)
Record 3
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...incidentals” that hint at the disorder of earlier civilization, though they are quickly “repaired,” as the Benefactor and the Guardians repair and maintain order in the One State. D-503 recalls that he’s... (full context)
Record 9
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...steps of the Cube. Above him, on the Cube, is the Machine—a mechanical surrogate for the Benefactor , consisting of “quadratic outlines” and heavy, stone hands. R-13 rises and recites poetry condemning... (full context)
Record 12
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...verse, asserting that, now, “poetry is purpose,” as it inspires ciphers to bow down to the Benefactor . (full context)
Record 15
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
...the person to the Operation Room, a medical facility that operates under the supervision of the Benefactor and contains such devises as the Gas Bell Jar, a mechanism under which rule-breakers are... (full context)
Record 19
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...request, as it will result in certain punishment at the hands of the Machine and the Benefactor . Still, O-90 insists that it is what she wants. D-503 honors her request and... (full context)
Record 20
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...in for his role in their illegal act, he will “kiss the punishing hand of the Benefactor .” In the One State, ciphers’ one “right” is to be punished. (full context)
Record 22
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...sick and can’t be held accountable for his misguided actions. D-503 proclaims his allegiance to the Benefactor , and he resumes walking in step everyone else, though he feels internally alienated from... (full context)
Record 24
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...is the same every year: it is the day the ciphers vote, unanimously, to reelect the Benefactor . Ciphers vote publicly, not in private, like in older civilizations’ elections. The Day of... (full context)
Record 25
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...other ciphers sing the Hymn together before voting. He’s forgotten about I-330’s cryptic remarks yesterday. The Benefactor emerges out of the clear, blue sky and the ciphers look upon him in admiration.... (full context)
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
The election process begins. Over the loudspeaker, a voice asks those in favor of the Benefactor to raise their hands. D-503 and millions of others do so enthusiastically. The voice then... (full context)
Record 26
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...election in that day’s issue of the State Gazette. The State issues a notice condemning the Benefactor ’s dissenters, calling them sick, and “the enemies of happiness.” It vows not to take... (full context)
Record 28
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...them that the Guardians—including S—are headed their way. Hurriedly, D-503 begins to write words praising the Benefactor . The Guardians arrive in D-503’s room. U arrives with them and reminds S that... (full context)
Record 35
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...to laugh. The telephone rings, He picks it up and is instructed to report to the Benefactor immediately. U admits that it was she who reported MEPHI, though she didn’t give them... (full context)
Record 36
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
...feels like his head is “an empty white page.” He doesn’t remember walking to see the Benefactor , only regaining consciousness as he stands before him, The Benefactor has “enormous cast-iron hands”... (full context)
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
When he regains consciousness, D-503 sees the Machine of the Benefactor in a public square. He approaches the Machine, crying out for it to punish him.... (full context)
Record 38
Alienation Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
...found in her room yesterday and hesitates. I-330 asks D-503 if he was really with the Benefactor yesterday, and when he confirms that he was, “her face paled, faded, and disappeared.” He... (full context)
Record 40
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
The day after receiving the Operation, D-503 reports to the Benefactor and confesses everything to him—something he’d wanted to do the entire time, he insists, but... (full context)