Friday, July 21, 2006

World of Glass

The glass imagery present throughout pages 1-31 of We struck me as quite intriguing. Because everything structural is constructed of glass, nothing can be hidden from the other members of society. This idea is quite startling considering how much we take privacy for granted. Such lack of privacy mirrors a lack of individuality in society. If people can not hide anything about themselves, conformity serves as the sole sense of comfort. This glass-world represents, metaphorically, the furthest end to which Communism can be applied. To instill perfect equality, the individual must be erased, for individuality is a sign of relative inequality. Though people may not be better or worse than each other, their personalities have qualities that are not equal, and such characteristics simply do not fit the glass-world mold. The mathematical precision of the glass rooms that fill glass hallways inside glass buildings seems to serve as a basis for the society created in We. The people, or more acurately numbers, only appear to fill out this mathematical equation in that they serve to perpetuate its purpose.

My reason for choosing glass imagery is that not only do I find the glass-world idea interesting, its metaphorical implications for the rest of the novel seem undeniable. All things not glass are treated as base, ancient, and savage to the members of the One State, yet to us, such things are dear. Our privacy, individuality, personality, and free will are not hollow, transparent objects, but virtues we hold to be most human. By eliminating these qualities in society, humanity is destroyed. Though I can not predict where the novel will go, it appears that this glass-world is in danger of being smashed (as it should be).


Blogger Nick_sp said...

I like your opinion, and your view on the glass metaphor. You also raise an interesting point about humanity (which I also agree with). If you create a society in which there is no free will, individuality is looked down upon, and things as dear to us as trees, mountains, and art are inherently forbidden, what part of humanity is left which sustains itself in this metropolis of emptiness?

In what way are we still human beings, and not just machines?

7:46 AM  

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