Friday, 9 May 2014

'We' - quick review

WeWe by Yevgeny Zamyatin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The edition of 'We' that I read was the 1959 translation by Gregory Zillborg, where the totalitarian world dominated by the Well-Doer is known as United State (this differs from many reviews I have seen that refer to One State).

The reader is introduced into the dystopian world through the journal of D-503, builder of the Integral and a once content member of society, more than comfortable with his manner of living, until he happens upon I-330; and so his world unravels.

The unravelling of D's world is reflected in the unravelling of his previously well-ordered mind. Piece by piece, all that he thought was perfect, well-ordered and controlled by the Well-Doer is seen for what it really is - though he fights against this realisation as best he can.

The influence upon Orwell's '1984' is evident, including providing an ending in which I was disappointed (hence only 4 stars). Despite this, it is a work that grabs you and in light of recent uprisings around the world, where the people are making their voices heard and fighting against dictatorial regimes, it is very poignant.

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