Wednesday, July 26, 2006

D-503's preoccupation w/ math

Math is a major preoccupation to D-503. He is a man (or number in the system, or both) that is content living a life totally planned out with no imagination or irrational emotions. Logic satisfies him. With math equations, there is always an answer, and the answer is not debatable. It's either right or wrong. He uses math to communicate to the readers at certain places in the book. For example, he shows us that he finds it odd how I-330 would know that he would be assigned to the particular auditorium 112 by telling us it was a 3 out of 20,000 probability. Also, D-503 will refer to things he is unable to put his finger on with an “X,” like in math, X is the variable you do not know yet and have to solve for. On page 6, he describes his first encounter with I-330: “I could not tell- there was a certain strange, irritating X, which I could not capture…” He also relates irrational feelings to math- like the time he whole-heartedly disagreed to the concept of the square root of -1. When he felt sick, he associated that feeling with the his memory of first setting eyes upon this square root of -1. Maybe the reason he abhors the sqrt -1 so much is that it is an irrational number and it involves i, an imaginary number, and imagination is also something he wants to reject. Through his affinity towards math, he implies how much he favors logic. He uses math to symbolize his thoughts and feelings.

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