Friday, March 28, 2008

Max and D-503

When watching Pi in class, I noticed a few interesting parallels between D-503 from We and Max from the film. Both characters are troubled by irrationality and disorder. D-503 is agitated by even the thought of imaginary numbers, namely the square root of negative one. Max is adamant that patterns lie behind absolutely everything. His faith in this concept is so strong that he drives himself crazy working to discover underlying patterns in things that appear rather random. Neither character believes in a God by our popular definition. D-503 does believe in the Benefactor who Zamyatin depicts as a God-like figure to the One State, however, little faith is required in this belief. The Benefactor is a tangible person whom the One Staters see on Election Day. D-503 does not believe in a God beyond his society, and this sort of faith would be difficult for him as God is much more enigmatic than his dreaded square root of negative one. Max was raised Jewish but no longer practices any faith. His agnosticism seems possibly counterintuitive since he is constantly looking for patterns and believes everything is controlled by something greater, specifically mathematics. Both characters are mathematicians who are removed from society by their individual obsessions, Max’s being patterns and D-503’s being the world beyond the Green Wall.

4 comments:

Kyle Caffey said...

You point out some interesting parallels between the characters. Isn't it also interesting that the two things that the characters are obsessed with are almost opposites. Max wants to be able to order his world by finding patterns. D-503, on the other hand, is stepping out of the order of the One State by pursuing the world beyond the Green Wall.

Blackout said...

I thought the same thing about D-503 and Max on the issue of faith. It seems like both are extremely focused on logic and rationality yet both have faith in something that goes beyond logic. The odd thing is that they both seem somewhat aware of it.

Miguel said...

I never really felt D-503 was obsessed with the world beyond the Green Wall, he just kind of seemed to accept them as inferior. Though, he did become obsessed with the ancients through I-330 and perhaps the world beyond the Green Wall as a result.

Jay said...

Yeah it's interesting how they both seem to be ultimately searching for meaning more than logic.