We Summary and Analysis of Records 25-31


D-503 reports to Day of Unanimity celebrations, where he compares the OneState system to a “delicate spiderweb” about to snap (136). He sees Guardians signaling each other in the crowd, before he spies I-330, S-4711 and R-13 seated together. The Benefactor asks all those who vote for his reelection to raise their hands; and D-503 believes all do. Then those who oppose reelection are asked to raise their hands and a “thousand hands shoot up," including I-330 and R-13’s hands (139). D-503 blacks out and awakens to chaos in the stadium. R-13 is carrying a bloodied I-330 in his arms, trying to spirit her to safety. Overcome with jealousy, D-503 chases and savagely hits him, so he can carry I-330 out himself. I-330 explains to D-503 that everything that was known is coming to an end.

The morning paper explains that those who stood in opposition were sick, thus their votes will not be counted. The election was unanimous as always. D-503 greets the article with relief, trying to cling to some form of stability. He walks through the city and spies a flyer with the word “MEPHI” written in the center. D-503 spots S-4711 struggling to rip down the poster and helps him. As he continues towards work, he sees the entire city has been papered with similar flyers. He even spies one under the glass cupola of his office building. Increasingly delirious, D-503 remarks to an astonished co-worker that continuing with the government schedule is ridiculous: everything is falling apart.

D-503 travels back to the corridors underneath the Ancient House to meet I-330, who takes him beyond the Wall. D-503 is astonished and disgusted by the living grass beneath his feet. He is completely overwhelmed. They come to a crowd of people, some the citizens of OneState and others wild people, covered in glossy fur and completely naked. Suddenly I-330 appears standing on a skull-shaped rock and delivers a rousing speech calling for the end of OneState. She refers to D-503 as the Builder of the INTEGRAL, promising the crowd he will help them steal the spaceship. D-503 drinks alcohol from a wooden cup, relaxing. He reads the word MEPHI on the skull-shaped stone and sees an engraving of a young boy with a burning coal for a heart. Inspired, he climbs the rock and announces that everyone must “go mad” (152). He catches a brief glimpse of S-4711 in the crowd, but I-330 tells him he is mistaken.

U and I-330 interrupt D-503 as he is writing; U is trying to prevent I-330 from seeing him. D flies into a rage and screams for U to leave. I-330 mentions that all the auditoriums have been closed and fitted with hundreds of medical tables. She muses that some women from the city had children with wild men, and that D-503 must have “a drop or two of that sunny forest blood” (157). She explains that after the 200-Years War people survived outside the wall and created their own primitive societies. D-503 listens as I-330 describes the main forces of the universe: entropy and energy. Entropy represents the forces of stagnation, while energy represents those of disruption. The man who delivered I-330’s notes earlier enters the apartment and warns that S-4711 and the Guardians are coming. I-330 laughs before making an exit, leaving D-503 to hide his manuscript. S-4711 finds D-503 writing a piece glorifying the Benefactor. U is with the Guardians, clearly concerned about D-503’s health and safety.

As he is walking towards the Ancient House, D-503 notices O-90 behind him. O describes how happy she is to feel a child inside her. D-503 pities her, knowing that the punishment for an unplanned pregnancy is death. He suggests that I-330 could smuggle O-90 to safety, but O refuses to meet with the woman who stole him from her. D-503 reflects on the absurd and painful nature of emotions.

At the Ancient House, I-330 explains to D-503 that they must steal the INTEGRAL the day after tomorrow, during its first test flight. Disturbed, D-503 says what she is suggesting—revolution—is unthinkable. OneState was the result of the final revolution. I-330 replies by asking him what the final number in mathematics is; D-503, confused, says there is no final number in infinity. She posits that just as there is no final number, there is no final revolution. There will always be another revolution, another change. Flustered, D-503 walks home, struggling to believe that revolution could be the answer. He sees the auditoriums filled with medics and tables and reflects that thinking beings should not have to live among “irregularities, unknowns, X’s” (170).

In the morning, the State Gazette announces that scientists have perfected a surgery to extract the human imagination. The article promises complete and total rationality to those who undergo the procedure. D-503 greets the declaration with giddy joy and relief. He decides to have the surgery, but feels he must speak to I-330 first. At work, a builder informs him that the test flight has been postponed a day, given the large amount of surgeries that will be happening. Afterwards, U visits D-503 at his apartment, explaining how she took her class of children to have the operation performed. D-503 then leaves for I-330’s apartment, where they discuss whether or not happiness should be the ultimate measure. I-330 feigns leaving D-503, so he begs her to stay, confirming his willingness to do anything for her.


As revealed in previous Records, D-503 is anything but revolutionary. He continues to display a disconcerting affinity for totalitarianism, which he finds comforting. Reading the State Gazette after the Day of Unanimity, he is relieved to find that the dissenting votes will not be counted (144). He believes it is unnatural for humans to have to contend with “irregularities, unknowns, X’s” (170). Accordingly, he is elated when he learns he can have his imagination removed through surgery (171). When thinking of the revolution, D-503 admits he doesn’t fully understand who or what he is fighting against (156). As before, D-503’s only concern is his irrational passion for I-330; he is swayed, not by political or scientific arguments for revolution, but by emotions. D-503 has fully embraced irrationality. He savagely attacks R-13, a fellow rebel, just so he can carry I-330 in his arms. Later D-503 choses rebellion because he “can’t live without [I-330]”; not because he repudiates the policies of OneState (178).

D-503 reveals his continuing regard for the Benefactor with markedly religious language. He describes the dictator “descending from the heavens," and uses the capitalized He to refer to the man (135). D-503 even calls the Benefactor “Jehova”, the name reserved for God in the Old Testament (135). The protagonist explains that the Benefactor is “as wise and cruel in his love as Jehova of the ancients” (135). Zamyatin is using religious language in order to critique Christianity, insinuating that the religion contains the same totalitarian spirit that defines OneState. In Christianity one supreme leader, God, holds incredible power over the people, who can have no rights against the desires of God. I-330 further explains, saying, “the Christians, worshipped entropy as they worshipped God” (159). In Zamyatin’s estimation Christianity is affiliated with stability, stagnation and lack of freedom. I-330, who is arguably the novel’s heroine, refers to herself and other rebels as “anti-Christians” (159). Whether or not the author’s critique of religion, and Christianity in particular, is warranted, it remains a significant theme in the novel.

Throughout the novel the citizens of OneState are routinely infantilized. Even D-503 imagines himself as a child when faced with the power of the state; at the Day of Unanimity he is reduced the “little boy” who cried over his stained uniform (135). His relationship with U feeds from this dynamic. She views him as an innocent in need of her maternal guidance. When arguing with I-330 she exclaims, “He is a child!” (155.) U demonstrates the “love without mercy” shown by the state (176). Sensing that I-330 will corrupt him, U speaks with the Guardians, prompting their unannounced visit (161). Likewise, she brings the children in her class to forcibly have their imaginations removed (176). Like OneState, she views D-503 as a child in need of tough love. Unable to take responsibility for his own actions or life, D-503 is happy to play along; he is relieved to have a mother.

In his Records, D-503 presents OneState as a given, an everlasting presence. He is shocked by I-330’s stance that the state should be overthrown (168). Yet the machinery of totalitarianism has proven weaker than expected. At the Day of Unanimity D-503 realizes that the system is “an immensely delicate spiderweb, stretched to its limit and trembling” (136). After the incident at the election, citizens wake to find the city papered in flyers for the resistance; the sheer number of posters indicates the rebellion must involve significant numbers of people. Even those outside the rebellion feel that their lives have become untenable; O commits what is essentially suicide by pregnancy, since she cannot have a child (165). All this indicates that I-330’s insight about never-ending revolution is correct (168). There can never be a final system or government; the only constant is change. Everything eventually collapses, even those things, like OneState, that seem unimpeachable.

At the Day of Unanimity D-503 describes the tense environment as “the way it was for the ancients before a storm” (137). Weather inside the glass city is carefully regulated; no clouds are allowed to ruin the expanse of the sky and rain is non-existent. Yet in the following days the weather will begin to shift in ways that signal a major storm, both literal and symbolic. Citizens begin remarking on “how fast the barometer is falling” (162). The next day D-503 witnesses “rainclouds racing along at full speed” (163). Later he describes clouds that look “more and more like cast iron” gathering on the other side of the wall (177). This foreshadows the major action coming in the following records. Forces are slowly gathering, preparing for a storm.