Although Cement was a model for later socialist realism, Katerina Clark has argued that Gleb Chumalov does not achieve consciousness, a requirement for later heroes, but instead remains spontaneous. In this essay, Eric Laursen argues against Clark's widely accepted interpretation. By introducing the idea of instinct (class, worker, revolutionary), which Anna Krylova has shown to be central to Bolshevik thought in the early years of the twentieth century, Laursen argues that Gleb does gain consciousness. Gleb does not move from spontaneity to consciousness, however. Instead he learns to control and guide his own instincts and those of others. Two other characters also transform themselves. Gleb's wife Dasha illustrates a similar but distinct path forwomen. Sergei Ivagin, who must abandon conscious thought to first develop instinct, illustrates a different path for the intelligentsia. The attainment of consciousness is presented as a rebirth or maturation and involves the acquisition of “conscious language.” In the party purge at the end, those who speak unconsciously, therefore misleading and confusing the masses, are cast out of the party. The newly conscious Gleb and Dasha, who now speak properly, take their place as leaders.