We’ by Yevgeny Zamyatin translated by Natasha Randall
Zamyatin who is an engineer by profession was able to incorporate mathematics and science in the fiction nicely. Moreover, the main character D-503 is a mathematician, and he is associated with everyone I the script. One example of an incident where mathematics emerges is when D-503 expounds on his fear of the square root of minus one. As a mathematician, the character had a problem with √-1 because it is an imaginary figure. Cracking what this might be hard for a typical reader. As a result, the author uses the word irrational number to explain why D-503 was afraid of the square root of negative one. Mathematics is also mentioned in the book when the narrator recalls of Mr. Pliapa, the teacher who introduced irrational numbers to him. D-503 remembers weeping and hitting the table with his knuckle unveiling his hate for √-1. The narrator evaluates how his friends are progressing by how they are with mathematics.” When it comes to Taylor and mathematics—he always lagged behind (Zami︠a︡tin and Randall 59).” The author compares rational numbers to invisible masses, which exist in spite of being intangible. According to the book, every formula and equation in this universe has a subsequent mass.
The author has sculptured the D-503 in a manner that he talks using equation. He is amazed by being able to explain things from a mathematical perspective. As we are informed, D-503 takes pride in being a great mathematician of his time “I am only one of the mathematicians of the One State.” His happiness is caused by unusual sensation; in that, he does not have fun hanging out with friends instead exploring numbers, formulas, and equations get him jovial. The author tries to explain how mathematics can be fun by making some of its concept simple for readers. Another character in We is R-13 who is D-503’s comrade. He is a well-known poet with African lips. His happiness is derived from writing good rhymes, reading poems and attending events related to his art. According to R-13 poetry is the way to enjoy life especially in the companion of intimate friends. Such a view of happiness is relatable to many people because poetry has been an ancient art in many communities and it helps in bringing different people together. In the book, there is also I-330, who is a lady that is always seeking attention which she does not seem to be getting from D-503. Her happiness is an apartment that is furnished with a musical instrument. She confesses “This is my most favorite …” while it is evident D-503 is of contrary opinion from even how he describes the apartment. The things that make I-330 are what almost every human desire, a peaceful home. The author has used the female character in this setting to shoe insensitive D-53 was to other people’s feelings.
The female characters in the book are different from the male regarding emotional attachment. For instance R-13, Taylor and D-503 are not bothered by not getting each other while on the other hand I-330 cannot stomach the treatment she gets from an insensitive man. She opts to hang out with R-13 who is sentimental and susceptible to what those around him feel. She also demands to be treated politely and with affection. “Is it too late? I wanted to ask you … I want you to be with me tomorrow. My sweet … (Zami︠a︡tin and Randall 141)” this is an example of a conversation where the narrator had to humbled down to get I-330 into doing what he wanted.
Zami︠a︡tin, Evgeniĭ I, and Natasha Randall. We. EPUB file, Modern Library, 2016.