In this story everyone had the exact same schedule everyone had the exact same house and car, it was so similar that you could use any car or any house, no one had any possessions. they watched tv at the same time and went to bed at the same time.

They either all had the same name or they had no name, but the name character decided to name himself City, and he started to go home to the same house everyday. He did some other stuff that made him an individual and the Government, which I think was called Government, found out that someone was doing things differently.

I think the main character left his tv on longer than he should so they pulled everyone out of their homes and killed them.

I read this with my class about 5 years ago and I can't find the text anywhere. I didn't have the author either, and I'm not even sure if "Same" is the right title.


1 Answer 1


The novel We (Russian: Мы, romanized: My) by Russian writer Yevgeny Zamyatin, written 1920–1921.

Like all other citizens of One State, D-503 lives in a glass apartment building and is carefully watched by the secret police, or Bureau of Guardians. D-503's lover, O-90, has been assigned by One State to visit him on certain nights. She is considered too short to bear children and is deeply grieved by her state in life. O-90's other lover and D-503's best friend is R-13, a State poet who reads his verse at public executions.

While on an assigned walk with O-90, D-503 meets a woman named I-330. I-330 smokes cigarettes, drinks alcohol, and shamelessly flirts with D-503 instead of applying for an impersonal sex visit; all of these are highly illegal according to the laws of One State.

Both repelled and fascinated, D-503 struggles to overcome his attraction to I-330. She invites him to visit the Ancient House, notable for being the only opaque building in One State, except for windows. Objects of aesthetic and historical importance dug up from around the city are stored there. There, I-330 offers him the services of a corrupt doctor to explain his absence from work. Leaving in horror, D-503 vows to denounce her to the Bureau of Guardians, but finds that he cannot.

He begins to have dreams, which disturbs him, as dreams are thought to be a symptom of mental illness. Slowly, I-330 reveals to D-503 that she is involved with the Mephi, an organization plotting to bring down the One State. She takes him through secret tunnels inside the Ancient House to the world outside the Green Wall, which surrounds the city-state. There, D-503 meets the inhabitants of the outside world: humans whose bodies are covered with animal fur. The aims of the Mephi are to destroy the Green Wall and reunite the citizens of One State with the outside world.

  • This predates TVs by bit, especially in the Soviet Union, so the entire bit about everyone watching the same TV program at the same time and the protagonist leaving his TV on doesn't fit. Does this end with the entire city being razed by the government as punishment for individuality?
    – DavidW
    Commented Mar 31, 2022 at 13:54
  • I think so. But this is a novel and he is looking for a short story. So probably not a correct answer..
    – jo1storm
    Commented Mar 31, 2022 at 13:57
  • Thank you for your post, but this isn't the story. I'm pretty sure it was called "Same" and the main character named himself City. It was hard for me to find a digital copy back when I was teaching a couple of years ago, too. I really hope someone is able to find it. :'( Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 11:48
  • @DesperateSeeker There is no short story in the ISFDB with the exact title "Same". Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 23:18
  • Here are the titles that begin with the word "Same". Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 23:18

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