The Great Operation

730 Words3 Pages
“When there is state there can be no freedom, but when there is freedom there will be no state.”(Lenin, 1918) Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We is a novel written in 1921 after the Russian revolution. The novel was translated to English by Natasha Randall. The novel was written in parallel to the communist regime created by Vladimir Lenin. The quote above, shows one of the ideologies of which Lenin-Marxism was created on. Initially Zamyatin supported the Bolshevik government, however after he witnessed the effect of communism on society, he started to question the Bolsheviks. The novel depicts the journey of realisation of the protagonist, D-503, as he progressively realises the constraints of freedom. Furthermore, Zamyatin uses the motif of fear to demonstrate how the state uses fear to blind the ciphers from freedom to highlight that fear is used to control the state from observing freedom. The motif of fear was constructed by many events and settings in the novel including the public executions, the use of the bureau of guardians, and the great operations. These events in the novel contribute the fear created by the one state. Zamyatin utilises the motif of fear as a parallel to the use of ‘Cheka’ under the control of Vladimir Lenin. “The Red Terror was a period in 1918 when the murderous activities of the Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka, intensified to instill fear across Russia.” (Allison, 2010) As quoted, the purpose of the Cheka was the fear the people of Soviet Russia. Likewise, Zamyatin used the bureau of guardians to fear the one state from revolting again the one state. The use of the Bureau of Guardians is to construct the motif of fear. The bureau of Guardians are the secret police in the one state. Due to the transparency o... ... middle of paper ..., p.186) This simile represents the effects of the Great operation. Now the ciphers including D-503 are back to their mechanical phase. This truly shows that the one state has blinded the all the ciphers of freedom as a way of controlling them. All these events and settings show that the motif of fear does demonstrate that it is used to blind the ciphers from realising freedom. Zamyatin was a political activist and this can be seen throughout the novel as it is showing an exaggerated parallel between Soviet Russia after 1917 and the one state. As said before, the states use of fear is seen in both the one state and Bolshevik regime. Zamyatin used the novel as a mouthpiece of his political ideologies through the satire on the control of the one state. In doing so, he demonstrates the soviet Russia has blinded of freedom through the use of fear such as the Cheka.
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