Both Orwell’s 1984 and Zamyatin’s We are dystopian novels expressing the fear of totalitarian governments and the lives of the citizens in these countries. Both of these novels express a similar theme. For example, both novels are set in an unpleasant totalitarian society in which the citizens are constantly being repressed and in both novels an unsuccessful attempt to rebel against the government exists.
Despite these similarities, a closer look at both novels reveals that they have less in common than what comes to the eye.
The very different nature of the protagonists in these two novels is the main reason to why these two novels are more different than alike. This topic is significant because the differences in the two protagonists, D-503 (We) and Winston Smith (1984), has led to rather different interpretations. Despite the differences, D-503 and Winston Smith share some similarities as well.
Many people believe that Orwell wrote 1984 based on Zamyatin’s We, but this is not true. Even though We was originally published in 1921 and 1984 was published 28 years later in 1949, We was originally written in Russian and only later translated to English therefore Orwell could not have possible read it.
The thesis of this essay is to explore both the differences and the similarities between the two protagonists in George Orwell’s 1984 and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We.
D-503 and Winston Smith are poles apart; these two characters have very little in common. The primary difference that