If there is one topic continually running throughout the Prisonerr, then it must surely be the individual against the establishment, the individual against bureaucracy, that's two!
To number an individual is seen to be dehumanising that individual, by that very number. Today they would say it goes against an individuals human rights.
During the human chess match of Checkmate No.8-the white Queen informs No.6 "Its not allowed, the cult of the individual," this after an illegal move on the chessboard by the Rook-No.53.
No.6 is an individual who will not be pushed, filed, stamped, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. His life is his own. "I am not a number, I am a free man, or person" depending on the line at the time. This then is the more subtle protest against "them," because it all boils down to "us and them" in the end.
As part of his maiden electoral speech No.6 informs the electorate that he intends to discover who the warders and who the prisoners, "Whose standing beside you now?" Yet it is not until the episode of Checkmate, that No.6 does actually try and discover who the prisoners and who the warders. And when he does it ultimately backfires on him, as the Rook-No.53 puts to No.6 his own tests. Judging No.6 by his attitude, just as No.6 had learned to distinguish between the blacks and the whites on the chessboard, the prisoners and the warders, judging by attitudes. Just the way it is in life, you soon find out who's for or against you.
But No.6 is simply a pawn, the individual as prisoner and number. During A Change of Mind, No.6 is ostracised as being a "reactionary rebel." during the Dance of the Dead, No.6 is put on trial for the possession of a radio, which breaks the rules, and his defender is No.2 herself, and a witness for the prosecution! Where can the individual win in such a "Kangaroo Court" as this? However in the defenders opening speech, No.2 does her best to defend the Prisoner "The Prisoner is a human being, with the weakness of his kind. The fact that he had a radio, and has broken rule after rule cannot be denied." And then pleads with their Lordships for clemency. "He is guilty only of folly. We can treat folly with kindness, knowing that soon his wild spirit will quieten and the foolishness will fall and reveal a model citizen." No.6 responds with "That day you will never see!"
No.6 is an individual, and they are always trying. But the community must live, and so must he. Yet the community will not suffer him for long. To the village and the committee, he is simply citizen No.6, who has to be tolerated, and if necessary shaped to fit!
Yet by the time of Fall Out, the President and Delegates of the Assembly, are both pleased and justified by the fact that Sir, as he has now become to be known, has vindicated the right of the individual to be individual. They applaud his private war, and no beg him to lead them or go. Go anywhere! Was this another ploy in the village game in the manipulation of No.6? Well your guess is as good as mine. Because before we can find out any further information or explanation, a violent and bloody revolution breaks out, and so to do our four intrepid escapees, along with the majority of the citizens of the village in a mass evacuation of the village.
Perhaps next time, around more will become clear about the "Cult of the Individual."
I'll be seeing you.