This was my second or third reading of We, and, as is often the case when we reread a book, new perspectives and new ideas tend to be discovered amid everything that we think we already know. We (Zamyatin), Nineteen Eighty-Four (Orwell), Brave New World
(Huxley) and Darkness at Noon (Koestler) are the four most important
dystopian or anti-utopian novels of the twentieth century. Although they
are all very different, it is interesting to read them together because
they both complement and contrast each other, creating a many-faceted
picture, which is not as alien as many would like to believe. Although
Zamyatin's description of a society, where people are only known as
numbers and where emotions are no longer an issue, may seem ludicrous to
some, it actually touches upon many truths within our own society and,
together with the three other books, should act as a kind of 'wake-up'
call. It is a matter of pushing into the inner realms of Zamyatin's
thought processes and asking ourselves if perhaps he is right and if
perhaps mankind has actually lost connection with its soul.
Photo: Yevgeny Zamyatin, Wikipedia.