Yevgeny Zamyatin

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on We can help.

We: Record 30 Summary & Analysis

D-503 writes about his conversation with I-330 in the Ancient House the day before, as he believes its contents is valuable to the One State’s welfare. I-330 tells D-503 that the day of the Integral’s first test flight—the day after tomorrow—MEPHI will seize control of it. She says that many ciphers were taken randomly by the Guardians yesterday, 12 of whom were MEPHI. Time is of the essence. At 12:00, says I-330, the dinner bell will ring, and everyone will go to the cafeteria. MEPHI will stay behind, lock the cafeteria doors, and take control of the Integral.
D-503 rationalizes his engagement with the One State’s enemies by framing it as an act that will benefit the State in the long run. He remains incapable of acknowledging his complicity in MEPHI’s plot to overthrow the government.
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
D-503 tells I-330 that she is describing a revolution—something he knows is impossible, as the One State’s revolution was the last of its kind. I-330 disagrees: just as numbers are infinite, so, too, are revolutions. Therefore, one can never know which revolution will be the last. “Final things are for children because infinity scares children,” she says. MEPHI, on the other hand, knows that “that there is no final number.”
D-503 needs to believe that the One State’s revolution was the last of its kind because it’s too frightening to imagine an infinite number of future revolutions. When I-330 states that “Final things are for children,” she indirectly suggests that the One State controls its citizens as though they are children who need to be protected from the truth. 
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
Related Quotes
After I-330 leaves, D-503 walks past an auditorium and sees tables covered in white glass with blood on them. He fears the unknowns of tomorrow, believing it unnatural to accept life’s unpredictability. He compares his current situation to wandering around blindfolded, with each step risking falling off the edge of a cliff. He wonders what might happen if he were to not accidentally wander off the edge but willingly dive headfirst into it.
D-503’s cliff scenario illustrates the choice he must make to embrace or reject the world’s unknowable aspects.
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon