Yevgeny Zamyatin

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We: Record 23 Summary & Analysis

As he walks to U’s monitor desk, D-503 writes about a flower that blooms only once a century and wonders if there are also flowers that bloom once every 1,000 years or 10,000 years. He imagines that everything around him—chairs, lamps, boots—is blooming. D-503 hands his pink ticket to U, who tells him he looks sickly, and that he is ruining himself. Inwardly, D-503 acknowledges that he is sick, but he also wonders whether blooming is a sickness.
When D-503 imagines that the objects around him are blooming, he evokes figurative language—a sign of his growing tendency to insert creativity and individual flair into his writing.
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Later, D-503 is in his room with I-330. He holds her knees and imagines himself melting into her: “Because she is not she, but the universe.” He imagines he is the chair she sits in. He attempts to tell her these things aloud but becomes embarrassed by his “nonsense.” I-330 proposes that nonsense might not be a bad thing—that she loves him for his nonsense.
D-503 evokes metaphor when he remarks that I-330 “is not she, but the universe.” His desire to be the chair she sits in isn’t literal, but poetic. He realizes that these thoughts are nothing more than creative nonsense, and his embarrassment suggests that he wishes he could repress him. 
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Related Quotes
D-503 asks why I-330 has repeatedly failed to see him, and she tells him she needed to “test” his total allegiance to her. He insists that he is absolutely hers. She asks him about his recent duties to the One State, and he finds that he can’t uncover them in his mind or in his records.
I-330 has become a bigger priority to D-503 than his work, demonstrating how his priorities have shifted from advancing the collective’s power to serving his own self interests.
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I-330 begins to speak: “Maybe, on that day,” but stops herself. Her eyes become unreadable to D-503. D-503 thinks about the birds above the Green Wall that he saw the other day. Suddenly, I-330 begins to get dressed. D-503 tells her he can’t handle her opaqueness and lack of communication with him. She asks him if he really wants to know everything, and he insists that he does. She makes him swear total allegiance to her once more and then says that when the holiday is over, she will tell him all there is to know. Cryptically, I-330 asks about the Integral’s progress. After she leaves, D-503 wonders why she wanted to know about it.
When I-330’s eyes become unreadable, it hints that she has a secret ulterior motive in pursuing D-503. D-503’s confusion as to why she would ask about the Integral shows that he is beginning to wonder at I-330’s motives for seeing him.
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