Corruption and Control Within the One-State: An Attempt to Eliminate Happiness to Maintain Power College

In Zamyatin’s We, the One-State society is structured to eliminate all aspects of life that may contribute to negativity. A totalitarian government controlled by the Benefactor sets up a world in which people – referred to by numbers – do not have to make choices. The numbers experience a completely regimented lifestyle designed to eliminate error, mistakes, and uncertainty. All aspects of society are regulated to ensure there is no pain, envy, or confusion when one follows the mandated laws. From this perspective, in all respects civilization should be at its pinnacle. Then why then does the civilization D-503 describes appear to be more of a dystopia? As D-503’s journal records progress, it becomes apparent that many numbers are unable to conform completely to the One-State, as the individual experiences aspects of life the government is unable to regulate. The claim that civilization is at its pinnacle proves false as analyses of the One-State government reveal underlying motivations that aim to prevent happiness rather than maintain it. Furthermore, love and emotions –which the government aims to suppress - are unavoidable and ultimately necessary for the potential to experience actual happiness over simple contentment.


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