Zamyatin's "We" and the Garden of Eden

In Yevgeny Zamyatin’s dystopian novel We, the reader sees what was supposed to be a utopian society. From the characters’ painfully regimented daily lives to the clandestine desire to break free from the monotony of OneState, we see that not all is perfect; freedom does not create happiness, and happiness does not create a utopian society. Zamyatin uses many literary allusions in his novel, especially involving the Bible. Throughout We, there is a profound connection between OneState and the Bible, especially Genesis 1-4.

We is Zamyatin’s response to his personal experiences during the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917, as well as his life throughout World War I. The novel is in the form of a diary, telling the story of D-503, a number who lives in utopian-seeming society of OneState. Through his diary, D-503 chronicles his strict daily regiment and his misadventures with the resistance group Mephi.

Throughout the novel, Zamyatin makes many allusions and connections to the Bible, most commonly with Genesis 1-4, the story of Adam and Eve. The author develops a structure of the totalitarian state that can be paralleled to the Garden of Eden and the price people pay in their hunt for utopia. In We, we have the Benefactor as the...

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