Friday, February 1, 2008

The Benefactor

Who is he? The Benefactor's role in society is never explained in the novel. I have a hard time grasping the character. He seems like the leader of a cult. There is definitely brainwashing going on and the citizens of the One State don’t seem to question his authority since he has been unanimously voted into office for years. Where does he live? I have a hard time imagining him in a glass house where everyone can see his every move. To an extent the Benefactor has to experiences freedom that no one else gets. He is supposed to be the leader of the One State but he seems to be a contradiction in his own society.

What happens when the Benefactor dies? I imagine there to exist a whole secret society in the One State where future Benefactor’s are trained. There also has to be an aspect of the secret society that retains the knowledge of the ancients. A sect that teaches music, probably art, and even making apparel as was shown when I-330 performed the piano piece in the auditorium. The One State seems to be built on lies because it preaches openness and hiding nothing but it seems like it has a lot to hide. I wish the author had gone more in depth on the inner workings of the One State because that is one thing that intrigued me the most in the book. I think there were a lot of unanswered questions in the book that made it difficult to see how such a society could ever exist.

4 comments:

Crista said...

Hi Cheney. I thought the same thing..what happens when the benfactor dies?

I think one the the Guardians become the Benefactor. In the Catholic religion, when the Pope dies, one of the Cardinals takes his place. Maybe it is the same way in the One State.

Haseeb A. said...

I think the Benefactor in We is a darker, less appealing version of the Wizard of Oz.

In the Wizard of Oz (spoiler ahead), the Wizard of the Emerald City is believed to grant wishes and be most powerful. When Dorothy and the other characters go to see him, it turns out he is simply an intelligent man behind a screen. Not anything godlike or supernatural.

In We, I believe the Benefactor has a similar role. He is a human being (a Guardian or something of higher power) who has been elected to control society. On p.212 of the book, there is a description that makes me think he is inside of a giant robot machine. Like the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

kdl63 said...

No one seems to know what the Benefactor looks like, so if he were to die, they would be able to replace him without anyone knowing about it besides the guardians. I don't think the One State would ever know if there has been one or more than one Benefactor.

Blackout said...

I like the Wizard of OZ idea for the Benefactor. I would say most likely he would just be a promoted Guardian but I agree that it would've been interesting to find out more.