Sunday, July 23, 2006

How do we read WE

Is it just me or does it seems like the writer is using some kind of mind altering drug? The way that this book/story is written makes me look more to the writer than the story in the words. I know that imagery is a must for any story other wise it would end up being just black and white words without any true idea of what the author really is trying to tell. This is why the use of the colors to represent just about every type of emotion makes me start to wonder if there was more going on behind the text than we know of. Being who I am, when I hear something or read something I tend to look more at how the words are ordered and arranged than what they exactly mean. For example: the names being replaced with a letter followed by numbers shows, again to me, that he wants you to read the story without ties to a single character. This also goes to the notion of the ‘One State’ with the whole being more important than the individual. With the colors I can understand the use of describing what O’s cheeks turning pink when he sees her. This is what I wonder when I’m reading. Why does he use certain colors over others? I know that individuals can be taught that one color represents a particular thing; I believe that this has actually been studied. I also like to believe in the individual having their own sight, seeing different colors different ways. I also know that a majority see the same color in a certain context, usually, the same way or close to that. Which brings me back to the drugs at hand, was he chasing the green dragon?


Blogger Matt Giani said...

"Chasing the green dragon..." Priceless.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Simon Says said...

As to whether he was "chasing the green dragon", I think it would be more likely that he was a drinker. Alcohol is rather mind altering, plenty abundant in Russia, and seems to mix well with many a writer...but then again so does pot.

You asked, "Why does he use certain colors over others?", and though I cannot speak for Zamyatin, I can hypothesize for fun. A few particular colors, blue, green, yellow, and pink struck me as most prevelant and understandable. Blue, seen mostly in Zamyatin's sky imagery, seems to represent a sort of perfection in life on the one hand. When clouds or fog interfere with the sky, it seems to bother D-503. On the other hand, though this may be a stretch, when I think of water, the color blue comes to mind. If destruction by the Benefactor's hand comes in the form of water, it seems to resemble the opposite of the sky's importance...death instead of life. Yellow is often used to describe life and courage, while in other contexts it represents cowardice and fear. Green, and this one really intrigues me, is found in the Green Wall. D-503 feels that walls are man's greatest invention. Now, when speaking of trees, D-503 appears revolted almost. Trees, our current source of oxygen and life, are usually green.

So, perhaps Zamyatin's choices of colors are purposely meant to represent opposite things. As this book is written in satire, with the narrator's views often directly opposing the author's, this use of imagery may be a reflection of the novel's rhetorical style.

1:04 AM  

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