Wednesday, July 26, 2006

An Obsession with Perfection

In my opinion, Zamyatin uses D-503’s preoccupation with math and correctness as a way to not only communicate the values that the so-called utopia holds, but also as a way to demonstrate the negative side of those values. D-503’s obsession with perfection and mathematical precision reflects the same views that his society holds. He is apparently not alone in his enthusiasm, and perfection seems to be one of the only things that his utopian society actually gets excited about. So on a completely obvious plane, Zamyatin is using D-503’s obsessions as a way of reflecting the societal beliefs. On a deeper plane, however, I think that Zamyatin is demonstrating this correctness as a way of showing the rest of us how overly complicated this supposedly simple correctness makes their lives. Also, I think that Zamyatin is using the preoccupation to show that perfection and mathematical precision get in the way of enjoying life, with its freedom and emotions… and even mistakes.

Rhetorically speaking, Zamyatin is basically using an extreme form of something (in this case it is a preoccupation with math and correctness) to demonstrate how incorrect it really is. By pretending that an obsession with math and exactness is of the utmost importance, he is really blowing the issue to ridiculous proportions and making it just seem silly, which I believe is his intention. Zamyatin is showing the audience the argument that he believes is wrong, but is presenting it as the supposedly correct one, and is convincing his audience of his side by making a mockery of the other side.


Blogger Ami Herrera said...

My blog was similar to this one because I argued that D-503's preoccupation with math was a way to show the values of a utopian society, and I beleieve that having D-503 as such an advocate for an exact logical life amplifies any feeling contradictary to his mathematically overtaken life. I thought it was really interesting though how you said that Zamyatin is using this preoccupation to show how complicated and incorrect their society really is. It is a very good point that all of these calculations are excessive and that Zamyatin uses D-503 to show his beliefs about the One State.

3:39 PM  

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