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Curbing Plagiarism

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Specific Reponse Questions

Specific Questions for Zamyatin’s We:

  1. Analyze the development of a particular kind of imagery (eyes, mirrors, blinds, nakedness).  Analyze the color symbolism (yellow, pink, blue).
  2. Discuss the technique of speaking directly to the reader. How does this work and does it interrupt or enhance the narrative?
  3. Explain the function of the ellipses and other interruptions.  How do they reinforce reader participation?
  4. Discuss the significance of the characters' numbers.  How do they correspond to their attributes?
  5. How are women treated in this novel (both by the characters and by the author—in other words, what function do the women serve and is this a fair representation)?
  6. Discuss the references to innocence and childhood.  What connections can you make regarding D-503 and the pattern of adolescent development?
  7. Discuss the 'irrational' as a motif?  What does the novel say about its workings and how it should be dealt with?  Do you agree; why or why not?  Does D-503 ever evade the irrational?  Can one evade it?  Should we evade it; why or why not?
  8. Discuss synesthesia (the description of one kind of sense perception using words that describe another kind of sense perception) in the novel.
  9. Discuss the role of writing in the novel.  You may reference the idea of self-discovery in a journal format, the manuscript as a character in-itself, etc.
  10. Discuss the satire of rationality and technology.  For example, explain the negative impact technology or the absurdities of over-arching rationality.
  11. Discuss the fate and uses of the irrational, illogical, or non-linear thinking in the contemporary U.S. perhaps focusing on art and literature.
  12. What are your thoughts on the revolution in We.
  13. Discuss your thought about poetry and poets in OneState focusing on D-503 and R-13 as poets (including their execution).
  14. Discuss the theme of romantic love and/or mental illness (and possibly their connection).
  15. Discuss the theme of technophilia (love of technology) and the negative impact of technology on contemporary human life.
  16. What shows that, though D-503 denies human feeling at the beginning of the novel, the irrational, the flights of art, and imagination are still powerfully present in him?
  17. In "Records 6-12", give some concrete examples of the processes (psychological) or events through which feeling (or the irrational that lurks in us all) overturns D-503's rational ideals.
  18. In "Record 10", what is comic and unexpected in this seduction scene (cf. the emphasis on taste and hearing versus seeing and touch)? In what ways are traditional male/female roles reversed in this scene? What is the overall effect and meaning of the contrast between humor and erotic tension in this episode?
  19. Discuss the story as a religious allegory. What criticisms and/or endorsements of religion are made and why?
  20. Discuss the novel in terms of a criticism of the Russian Revolution. How does the story reflect concerns we have today?