We Summary

Summary (Literary Essentials: World Fiction)

We is a first-person narrative written as a diary by D-503, a mathematician and builder of the Integral, a spaceship destined to travel to other planets to subjugate the inhabitants who may still be living in the primitive condition of freedom. The diary is to be carried on the space mission and is addressed to the unknown beings of these planets in order to explain and justify their subjugation. The structure of the novel is based on forty diary entries which describe a futuristic society of the twenty-ninth century in which all citizens live in a single city-state called the One State, under the authoritarian rule of the Benefactor and the watchful eye of a secret police force known as the Guardians. The society developed as a result of the Two Hundred Years’ War, in which the city triumphed over the country, and has separated itself from the primitive world of the ancients by the protective Green Wall.

The inhabitants of the One State live in a rationally planned society in which all activities are programmed according to the Table of Hours. The only human activity which has not been completely organized is the sexual act. Citizens are allowed free unscheduled time each day, referred to as the Personal Hours, in which they are allowed to draw the curtains of their glass rooms and engage in sexual or creative artistic activity. Love and marriage have been eliminated. Any citizen may register to have sexual relations with any other citizen by obtaining a pink coupon. Conformity of thought, dress, and behavior is rigidly enforced. All citizens wear blue-gray uniforms and are identified by a number. Any number who deviates from the norms of the One State is arrested and publicly...

(The entire section is 696 words.)