We

by

Yevgeny Zamyatin

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We: Record 14 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next day, D-503 writes about what happened after he returned from his incident with I-330: O-90 comes over, as planned, and senses something is wrong with him. He tells her he’s sick. When it’s time, D-503 lowers the blinds. D-503 begins to kiss O’s pink mouth. She is happy to be intimate with D-503 at first, but she sees how distant he is and insists, “you aren’t mine!” At first, D-503 scoffs at her use of the word “my,” but he realizes that, in his new, irrational world, he really isn’t O-90’s anymore. He sees his new world as an unpredictable realm “of square roots of minus one.”
D-503’s rhetorical decision to notice O-90’s pink mouth shows that he consciously associates her with order, rationality, and loyalty to the State: as he kisses her pink mouth, and they are having legally permissible, pink ticket-sanctioned sex. D-503’s inability to be close to O-90 reflects his growing alienation from the One State’s ideologies. Still, his decision to articulate this alienation in terms “of square roots of minus one” shows how desperate he is to maintain some semblance of logic in his increasingly illogical life.
Themes
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Alienation Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
O-90 asks where D-503 was earlier. He can’t tell her the truth, so he starts to kiss her. He quickly realizes how emotionally empty he is and that he’s unable to have sex, which upsets O-90, who immediately leaves. D-503 anguishes alone, noting how I-330 has taken away both R and O from him. Despite this, he seems to know he still has feelings for her, though he can’t quite articulate it explicitly.
D-503’s inability to perform for O-90 is further evidence of his budding individuality and his growing alienation from O-90 and the One State. D-503 now sees that it’s irrational of him to love I-330—she’s taken away two of his closest companions—but his inability to articulate this thought fully shows that he is still somewhat in denial about it.
Themes
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Alienation Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon