We

by

Yevgeny Zamyatin

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We: Record 22 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
D-503 writes about how the ciphers’ recent Table-scheduled walk was interrupted when a condemned young cipher being escorted by a quadrangle of guards tried to look for someone in D-503’s row. The guards begin to hit the young cipher with an electrical whip. Suddenly, a female cipher leaves D-503’s row and demands that the guards stop hurting the boy. As the guards accost her, D-503 is suddenly certain that the woman is I-330. Instinctually, he throws himself at the guards to protect her, only then realizing the woman is actually a stranger.
This is another instance that shows how rebellion is actually quite common in the One State, despite D-503’s earlier insistence that rebellion is rare. When D-503 lunges toward the woman he thinks is I-330, it’s an emotionally charged moment where he acts on his repressed desires and human instincts, going against the State to assist the woman he loves.
Themes
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
D-503 wants to defend his impulsive—and mistaken— leap by shouting “There she is! Get her!” but finds he can’t speak. He tries to rationalize his actions to the guards, but they carry him away to be arrested. Suddenly, S appears and tells the guards D-503 is 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 them.
D-503 realizes he acted on a repressed desire and tries to rationalize his behavior, insinuating that he actually jumped toward the woman to help the One State. That S prevents D-503’s arrest once again suggests that S is setting D-503 aside for some other purpose.
Themes
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
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