Photo: Yevgeny Zamyatin, Wikipedia.
07 March 2014
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
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.