Free «O-90 and I-330» Essay
The novel We by Zamyatin is an fictional piece that ridicules and mocks the totalitarian regime in Russia in the 1920s. The novel talks about a perfect place, the One State, which is governed by a totalitarian ruler, the Benefactor. People live in a rational manner, where everything occurs according to logic and reason. The apartments in the state are made of transparent glass, which makes spying easy for the guardians. The government has zero tolerance for personal freedom, happiness, or imagination. All that matters for the One State’s people is logic. As a result, the individuals follow mathematical illusions to solve the issues. The narrator, D-503, is an engineer overseeing the construction of a spaceship, Integral. Similar to all other citizens of the One State, D-503 has a sex partner, O-90. They meet during the official sex hours allocated by the government. O-90 has another boyfriend, while D-503 needs no one but her. However, later he meets I-330, who is a wayward woman. D-503 develops emotions for I-330, who tries to avert his way of thinking. O-90 and I-330 are women under the same rule and circumstances, but they have quite a lot of peculiarities. I-330 and O-90 are different in many aspects including appearance, features of character, and their concept of happiness, yet they have some notable similarities.
First, the character presentation of I-330 and O-90 is not the same. I-330, from the minute she comes into the scene, personifies rebellion. She makes advances at D-503, which is illegal and criminal in the One State (Zamyatin 51). She does not relent to invite him over to the only opaque building the state. This action is the manifestation of an open rebellion, which is risky for her and even for the unconscious D-503. On the other hand, O-90 does not show rebellion in any way. In her character and conduct, she remains within the limits provided by the Benefactor. O-90, just like most other citizens, follows the orders and guidance of the government. Even if she may not agree with what is going on, she finds it simpler to fit in the society rather than try to change the situation. She, therefore, fits perfectly in the system, unlike I-330, who does not want to obey the common rules.
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Secondly, I-330 and O-90 have different tastes and personalities. O-90 has a feminine character, which compels her to remain quite soft and almost defenseless. She shows love for flowers and affection towards all the beauty around (Zamyatin 117). Her conforming to the law is a form of helplessness because of her weak nature as a woman. I-330, on the other hand shows little or no feminine features. The author notes clearly that she smokes and even takes alcohol, which is not only illegal but also considered as male behavior. More so, she belongs to a revolutionary group, which appears to be more of a gang. Instead of possessing such feminine features as submission and obedience, I-330 is completely opposite. She is first to invite D-503, which is also a manifestation of male behavior. Ladies are supposed to be shy and not make sexual advances at men.
Also, I-330 and O-90 have different physical appearances. O-90 is described as a little short, plump and almost round, fitting in with her identification number. As a result of her small height, she is considered unfit for childbearing. Her being short and plump makes her uncomfortable, and she feels inferior to other women. I-330 is a perfect woman with a normal height; she is slender and attractive. She possesses all the feminine physical features, which lead D-503 to be attracted to her. She is swift and confident, and can have children if she wants. She is not limited by her physical appearances, unlike O-90, who feels out of place because of her appearance. I-330 identity fits well with her appearance.
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However, both I-330 and O-90 are rebellious. I-330 is aggressive in her revolt and tries along other rebels to change the way things are in their state. O-90 does not try to change anything but feels that she can no longer conform to the ruthless rule of the authoritarians. O-90 coerces D-503 to impregnate her, which is illegal since she is considered unfit to bear children by the One State law. Initially, she thinks she will turn over the child to the government for upbringings, but later also turns down this idea. She, therefore, seeks the help of I-330 to escape from the One State confinement. I-330 does not agree with anything that goes on in the One State (Zamyatin 95). Similarly, O-90 does not agree as well. Even if they express their discontent differently, they both rebel against the ruthless system that gives no heed to human beings as individuals.
Besides, both I-330 and O-90 have human emotions, which the One State has no room to accommodate. O-90 loves D-503, and she desires to have a child of her own (Zamyatin 175). First she considers having a child as the most important thing, even if she does not raise it. Her emotions further guide her, and she sees the importance of having the baby with her. Her emotions lead to her top rebellion as she searches a place where she can fulfill her plans. Similarly, I-330 has feelings and emotions, which allow her to think independently, even if it is against the law of the One State. Her attraction to D-503 changes the course of the story because it arouses feelings in him. The strength of I-330’s emotions and personal stands is depicted when she is tortured but still remains adamant refusing to reveal any information about her revolutionary group. Another incident that shows her human emotions is the episode when she takes D-503 out of the One State through the underground tunnel. She does this in order to impress him, as well as show him that life is not limited to the green wall of the One State.