Friday, January 25, 2008

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

I am not sure that I have ever been quite so alarmed while reading a book. As D-503 describes the One State more and more, this feeling of disgust rises within me. It is very strange as I am generally quite open-minded and even if I do not agree with something, I can usually understand where a person is coming from. I do understand somewhat of where the idea of the One State comes from and what would motivate people to create such a place, but perhaps it is the fact that it is an entire society on lock-down that bothers me. The way that the One State is governed is now widely accepted, but I am sure that when it was first formed, the ideas were only supported by a minority.

The book draws you into the One State so well, making it seem plausible that is the future for the Earth, which just makes it even more upsetting as it is something I refuse to accept for the future. Such concepts as only two hours of free time per day and only 15 minutes of intimate time with someone you are "registered to" just seems to go against all that I believe in and enjoy.

In any case, I suppose it is a good thing that I am so personally disturbed by this book as that is likely what the author intended, meaning she did her job quite well. It is just so hard for me to imagine eliminating anything from my life that was purely aesthetic or frivolous as they can sometimes be the most enjoyable aspects of life and save us from the monotony and stress of every day life.


Brian M said...

It would be difficult for me to live in a society like the One State. Although life would be protected by the order that exists, the quality of life would be minute, at best. The freedoms that many of us take for granted are the same freedoms that those living in the One State will never get to experience, which is very disturbing.

I agree that the author does a wonderful job in ''[drawing me into the One State so well]" because I can really picture what this society might look like. I'm excited to see how the rest of the story unfolds.

Sterbenz said...

i must say that i agree with you totally first of all and this society would suck. i just want to talk of your use of the word "intimate." i am aware that it is often used to mean sexual relations, but there are other ways to be intimate with someone. for example, i would think that O and D just sitting and doing times tables, no matter how dumb that sounds, is intimate or at least it is to O. she obviously likes this task much less than D and yet still sticks around and does it.
the One State tries to stop people from being intimate, but they just see sex as intimacy. they don't and can't see anything else as being intimate, and that leaves a loop hole open for those who sees others as more than just numbers.

Haseeb A. said...

I also felt disturbed as I read more of We. What striked me clearly was that there was no inclusion of pets in this society. That made me very sad....I guess pets would create disorder in the One State, but they can be really good companions that are even more reliable than humans.

Cheney said...

"The book draws you into the One State so well, making it seem plausible that is the future for the Earth"

I kind of feel the opposite as I read the novel. The book shows the impossibility of the existence of society in this sense. The fact that even the "model" citizen can be swayed into discovering his soul is the authors way of showing the faults of the One State. There is no way to rid the people of their souls which innately fight for freedom.