Friday, February 1, 2008

Primitivism and Happiness

I got these definitions from the dictionary on my Apple computer…

primitivism |ˈprimətivˌizəm| |ˌprɪmɪd1ˈvɪzəm| |ˌprɪmɪtɪvɪz(ə)m|
1 a belief in the value of what is simple and unsophisticated, expressed as a philosophy of life or through art or literature.
2 unsophisticated behavior that is unaffected by objective reasoning.

satire |ˈsaˌtīr| |ˌsøˈtaɪ(ə)r| |ˌsatʌɪə|
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

I believe We is a satire. Therefore, Zamyatin is saying that returning to the simple ways of life is what is needed to obtain happiness, and this would be a life similar to that of the ancients, or fur people, who live outside the Green Wall. This idea is called “primitivism” and I think Zamyatin is educating the Reader of this idea. Using mathematics as a foundation for a society is satirical because it is anti-primitivism. Mathematics is a complicated subject. Nature, for example, would be much simpler.

Zamyatin is ridiculing society by showing control does not equal happiness. Control equals indifference, which is a neutral state. We discussed in class that having a lobotomy would cure someone of his or her sickness (i.e. imagination), and the person would be forever happy. It seems to be a very bizarre sense of happiness to me…

No comments: