Sunday, July 30, 2006

taking the plunge....

I guess everyone else is still recovering from wild friday and saturday nights. So I'm the first one to post on this topic......it's ok...I'll take the plunge.....
I think that Zamyatin makes happiness the goal for the citizens of the One State because it may be the one thing that is unattainable. In such a society, everyone is able to achieve excellence simply by doing their daily tasks. But (as odd as it may seem) some may find the monotony of the One State to be an unhappy lifestyle. So by making happiness the goal in this novel, Zamyatin is writing in an underlying irony in the whole book. He describes the One State as being basically perfect, where everything is given to you and there is no difficulty that anyone must overcome. But the whole idea that the people living in the "perfect" society are not happy is completely ironic.
Had Zamyatin made hard work or excellence the goal in the book, it would have been easily attained and there would be no irony in the story. Actually, it wouldn't even have to be attained because they would automatically have it. There is no struggle in that. I think Zamyatin wanted to write it as D-503 living in an ideal society, but being unhappy and having a soul (because unhappiness is what having a soul is all about, right?) so that the book would be more thought-provoking to the audience. It makes you think about what will make you happy. A lot of people say, "i wish i had everything given to me so life was easy". Well, yes...life would be easier, but if you were the same as everyone else, would you be happy? I doubt it. It's a very interesting balance and Zamyatin has done a fabulous job of wrapping it up.

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