We

by

Yevgeny Zamyatin

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We: Record 7 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
That night, D-503 dreams about his afternoon at the Ancient House with I-330. He wakes to bluish light and the glass fixtures of his transparent apartment, which is comforting to him. He thinks something must be wrong with him, as the One State views dreams as a sickness. He feels as though there is a “foreign body” in his brain.
The One State prohibits dreaming, as dreams allow ciphers to use their imaginations and think creatively, so this occurrence is highly unsettling to D-503. His decision to regard his dream as the effect of a “foreign body” in his brain again highlights that he’s in denial that he possesses the capacity to have personal, imaginative thoughts—even in his unconscious state.
Themes
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
At 7:00, it’s time to get up. D-503 watches other people in adjacent glass apartments also rising for work, which comforts him. He regards Taylor as the “most brilliant” Ancient figure. After breakfast, D-503 thinks about his earlier dream. He’s glad he refused I-330 yesterday.
Fredrick Winslow Taylor was an American mechanical engineer who pioneered strategies of workflow management that applied science to industrial practices in order to maximize efficiency. D-503 describes Taylor as “brilliant” because his work champions rationality and empiricism, which are tenets on which the One State bases its collectivist ideologies.
Themes
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
D-503 goes to work. With pleasure, he thinks about the math involved in the Integral’s design. D-503’s daydreams of logic and rationality are interrupted by the S-shaped man, whose tag reads S-4711. S-4711’s penetrating gaze threatens D-503: it is clear to D-503 that S-4711 is a Guardian. D-503 confesses to S-4711 that he was at the Ancient House yesterday with I-330, but he finds that he can’t turn in I-330 for staying after the Personal Hour.
S-4711’s S-shaped body symbolizes and foreshadows his crookedness: he is a double agent, working as a One State Guardian while also secretly plotting its downfall.
Themes
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
D-503 reads the State Gazette, which reports on evidence of a strengthening rebel organization that aims to overthrow and liberate the One State. D-503 laughs at the organization’s use of “liberation.” Freedom wouldn’t liberate the One State, as freedom is the biggest cause of crime.
From the One State’s perspective, freedom isn’t liberating because it allows for unpredictability and the capacity for irrational, negative behavior. Freedom won’t liberate ciphers—it will imprison them in a web of self-destruction.
Themes
Fear of the Unknown  Theme Icon
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D-503 anguishes over his inability to report I-330 to the Bureau of Guardians. He resigns to do so after 16:00. At 16:10 he runs into O-90, which he sees as fortunate, for she will encourage him in his pursuit. O-90 suggests they go for a stroll, which enrages D-503. He tells her he has to go to the Bureau, which upsets O-90, as she’d brought a lily of the valley to give to D-503. D-503 derides her for finding the flower’s scent beautiful, as scents should be purely objective. He goes off on a rant about there being spies in the ancient world and spies, now, in the One State.
D-503 seems to know—at least on an unconscious level—that he needs another person’s encouragement to report I-330 because something inside himself prevents him from doing so voluntarily. Again, he is denying his capacity to be irrational and act on his emotions. The way D-503 mocks O-90 for liking the scent of the lily of the valley could be interpreted as psychological projection: he doesn’t want to admit that he can’t report I-330 for emotional, subjective reasons, so he externalizes his irrationality onto O-90, indirectly criticizing “himself” as he criticizes her.
Themes
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
D-503’s outburst hurts O-90, and she asks him if he’s sick. Internally, he recalls images of the Ancient House, and agrees that he’s sick. She tells him he should go to the doctor, because he’s obligated to be well. He goes to the Bureau of Medicine instead of the Bureau of Guardians. Later, O-90 comes to his apartment and they do math problems together. After O-90 leaves, D-503 shames himself for not going to the Bureau of Guardians earlier, but insists it’s “not my fault that I’m sick.”
Attributing his emotional outburst to his “sickness” allows D-503 to avoid taking personal responsibility for his actions. In blaming his undesirable behavior on an unpreventable, external cause (a physical ailment), he can both rationalize his behavior and deny his capacity to act irrationally. 
Themes
Individuality vs. Collectivism  Theme Icon
Repression of Desire  Theme Icon
Related Quotes