Number Six is an individual, and they are always trying. Trying to what, to escape, causing trouble? Well Number Six when not attempting to escape, is always poking his nose in where it wasn’t wanted. Individuals like Number Six are frond upon, someone they see who is to be tolerated by the community, and yet if necessary shaped to fit. By taking away an individuals name in return for a number is to de-humanise. And yet a number can be individual, thee can be only one Number of any specific number at any one time. If there is they are sub-divided as in 113 and 113b, and 113c. Although there can be two Number Two’s in the Village at the same time, and apparently two Six’s!
During the human chess match of ‘Checkmate’ the white
Queens rook made a move on the bard all his own “Check!” But then is duly taken away by hospital medics. No.8-the white Queen informs Number Six "Its not allowed, the cult of the individual," And yet by the end it would seem that the attitude towards individuals had changed. Number Six had vindicated the right of the individual to be individual. He knows the way, and is asked by the President to show them.
Number Six is an individual who will not be pushed, filed, stamped, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. Hi 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 Number Six 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 Number Six 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 Number Six his own tests. Judging Number Six by his attitude, just as Number Six 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 Number Six is simply a pawn, the individual as prisoner and number. During ‘A Change of Mind,’ Number Six is ostracised as being a "reactionary rebel." during the ‘Dance of the Dead,’ Number Six 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." Number Six 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 Number Six, 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 Number Six? 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.