Nature And Animal Imagery In Yevgeny Zamyatin's 'Onestate'

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In Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, nature and animal imagery portray the suppression of irrationality, as well as the authoritative power of OneState, which emphasize D-503’s difficulty in choosing conformity over rebellion.
Animal imagery depicting unity demonstrates D-503’s compliance to the Benefactor, which conveys his willing acceptance of State control.The Benefactor exerts his control over the entire OneState – an ideal that was willingly accepted by D-503 at the start of the novel, as depicted by his admiration of the State, which persuade him to remain loyal. Initially, D-503 welcomes the superiority of the Benefactor and he adores the Numbers’ unity, stating that: “we are one, powerful, million-celled organism”. The metaphor comparing all
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D-503’s animal characteristics embarrass him, such as his “shaggy paws”, which remind him of his ancestry and differentiates him from other Numbers. The comparison of his hands to the paws of a wild animal, exposes D-503’s irrational nature,, as well as and remindsing both the reader and himself that he contains ancient, human DNA. Through the reminder of his savage-era characteristics, D-503 questions his position conformity to OneState. Moreover, ‘shaggy’ denotes of D-503’s long, unkempt hair, whilst implying that, like the messy hair on his hands, his irrationality causes his life to be tangled and unclear. Thus, the hair makes D-503 question his role in society and position in whether he fully conformsfidelity to OneState rule. D-503’s frequent concerns over his hairy appearance suggests that individuality makes him feel isolated from other Numbers, such as when he describes himself as having “monkey’s hands”. The animal imagery of comparing his hands to those of a monkey, depicts the ancestry that resides in D-503, by linking his hereditary background to wild animals. Since monkeys are vicious, dangerous animals, it depicts the lack of order and savagery and disobedience that inhibits both monkeys and D-503. However, monkeys also connote of mischief and curiosity,…show more content…
Comparing the Benefactor to a “wise white spider” in the “centre” of a “delicate spider web, stretched to its limit”, emphasises the Benefactor’s superiority over the Numbers by restricting individuality. The spider’s central position in the web demonstrates its power and authority, but also depicts that the Benefactor is the central figure in OneState. The spider’s description as ‘white’, denotes its plain, pale colour, suggesting its purity and perfection, whilst connoting its age and wisdom. Consequently, the colour exhibits D-503’s perception of the Benefactor through admiration, thus determining D-503’s conformity to the State. However, the fragility of power is emphasized since the spider web is compared to being ‘stretched to its limit’, conveying that insurmountable force could cause irreparable damage beyond repair. Nonetheless, the animal imagery emphasises the Benefactor’s dominating force, depicting that rebellion cannot overcome his superior power. more power is necessary from the rebels in order to overturn the State past its limit. Hence, the animal imagery accentuates the Benefactor as a predator, who remains superior overwhelmingly powerful over its prey, and through D-503’s awe, his obedience to the State is

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