In Calligrapher’s Night, art liberates the main character and provides her with identity. It is in this identity that Rikkat Kunt is anchored and secured; it is her identity as an artist. Even though it took a while for her to realize her destiny as a calligrapher, her true identity is based on her art.
Despite the fact that Rikkat begins the story with her death, she is still alive through her art. Art takes the dominant role in the novel, because it is the main concern of the narrator. Rikkat describes the events of her life by the impact that they have on her art. When the republic begins to distance itself from Islam, Arabic writing is quickly banned and replaced with a modified form of Latin. There is also a campaign to eradicate all Arabic and Persian words. This restriction on language which also carried over to art puts Rikkat and the other calligrapher’s in a difficult position.
Since she is forbidden to practice her Arabic calligraphy, Rikkat traces “spirals of vegetation” that look similar to the figures of Arabic letters. Rikkat “cannot stop imagining the forbidden letters on a bare wall, on a cloudy sky, or on an empty plate.” By practicing the art of calligraphy, Rikkat is able to pray in secret and escape the cruelty and injustice in her life.
Although We was written as warning about totalitarianism to the Russian people, it can still serve as a warning to Americans today. One of the major ways it can do this is by cautioning us against believing everything we hear. Zamyatin deliberately began We with a script of propaganda because he recognized the dangerous impact that the media can have on a society.
Even though the totalitarian regime was defeated in the Soviet Union, its’ fundamental principles are still a prominent issue here in America. A totalitarian government regulates every part of public and private life and also controls and regulates the economy. These topics are all seen in exaggerated form in Zamyatin’s novel, but their...