The Impact of Beliefs Contrast Equality’s view of morality at the end of the novel to the morality exemplified by his society’s institutions, practices and officials. In your essay, consider what Ayn Rand has to say in these excerpts (Hyperlink on One Note) from her writings. The collectivist society created in Anthem by Ayn Rand, rules with a strict hand condemning anyone who chooses to speak out against it to harsh punishment, or worse, death. Equality 7-2521 lives his early life without understanding what individuality is and being entirely oblivious to emotions that are meant to be present in each human life.
“When men saw the Great Truth which is this: that all men are one and that there is no will save the will of all men together.” Equality 7-2521 lives in a world where the government bans all forms of individuality. For instance it is a sin to “think words no others think and to put them down upon paper no others are to see.” Equality was born with a curse “It has always given us wishes which men may not wish. We know that we are evil, but there is no will in us and no power to resist it.
Equality’s greatest strengths and personal qualities were intended to be restricted and abhorred. Indeed, Equality and his gifts were abhorred, but he found a way to circumvent each restriction, consciously or not. And, though he maintained use of his strengths and kept a strong spirit, Equality was never able to permanently influence the society because, as a Street Sweeper, he was no longer part of the great WE. The Council of Vocations mandated Equality to life as a Street Sweeper in order to limit his intellectual opportunities.
But while Equality's outlooks aren't necessarily bad, there still needs to be balance. If everyone thought only about themselves, society would crumble. People have to rely on each other to an extent, and total selfishness would prevent this. That being said, someone can have selfish moments while still being a good person and caring for others. There doesn't have to be polar opposites when it comes to selfishness versus selflessness.
Don’t Look Back Warren Farrell, an American author once said “Nobody really believes in equality anyway” and this rings true for several reasons. One such reason is, it is nearly impossible for equality, and happiness to coexist. For generations citizens of the United States have been striving to have total equality in their everyday lives. People want equal rights, equal pay, equal education opportunities. However, not many people want to do equal work, get equal consequences, or submit equally to government rules and regulations.
Equality shows little regard for the people around him and even when he makes claims of wanting to help his brothers by lighting his tunnel, the cities of the world and giving a new superior light to his brothers, he holds a selfish hidden motive to be sent to the Home of the Scholars. Equality’s overall assessment of his sins ignores these three actions that are considered to be immoral in modern
Throughout Anthem, Equality in the beginning fears of being the different one. In society it was so wrong to be different. To Equality and everyone else it was a curse. It was a curse to 6 feet tall. It was a curse to be smarter than everyone else (Anthem).
“I am done with the monster of ‘We,’ the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame.” (Anthem page 97). Anthem written by Ayn Rand is a story about a dystopian society in which collectivism and going against conformity becomes the life of a male individual, the protagonist- Equality 7-2521. Equality 7-2521 was born in a collective society, a society in which a group of people are treated as a single being, and right from the beginning was considered a threat to the entire “perfect” system, or what was thought to be a perfect system. Later, Liberty 5-3000 is introduced and she becomes Equality’s lover and “partner in crime” when it came to leaving and/or straying away from what was socially correct, yet even when they've broken
This selfishness is what eventually prompts Equality to look at his reflection in awe, create electrical lighting with his ingenuity, and, lastly, love Liberty. By recognizing and accepting these individual strengths, interests, and desires, Equality is victorious in freeing himself from collectivism. Man only comprehends rigid conformity. Nevertheless, Equality is “not like that of our brothers” (19), with a grand stature, a fascinating face, and straight capable arms resting at his sides. His distinctive features, are however, not just arbitrary.
In today’s society, there is much talk of equality. Equality is a seemingly flawless ideal in which every person could find true happiness. No one person would be above another and everyone would find fulfillment by being made equal. What if, however, equality was not what is seemed? What if this perfect ideal was distorted to mean something more sinister?
However, upon his encounter with the metro, he now has sanctuary to do so. The concept of heightened comprehension prompts Equality to return his sanctum. Here, he sinfully feeds himself fruit from the forbidden tree of knowledge while craving the answer to the great mysteries of mankind. Equality guiltily yet unregretfully begins to experiment with stolen “vials and powders and acids […] from the home of scholars” (44) along with “precious” manuscripts. And, although his purloin is a serious transgression, as it gridlocks the counterfeited progress of collectivism, Equality is apathetic.
Equality invented the light bulb and took it to the Council of the Scholars but they didn’t except it, because he worked on it alone and broke many
Throughout all of his life, everything Equality did was ruled over by a controlling government, until he managed to escape. Once Equality enters the forbidden forest, his motivations are clearly revealed to the reader. Once Equality enters the forest, he truly begins to discover parts of himself he never knew existed, “We could also rise, or run, or leap, or fall down again. We were thinking that these were thoughts without sense, but before we knew it our body had risen in one leap”(78). There are many moments similar to this once Equality enters the forest, and once he is reunited with Liberty, he is the happiest he had ever been before.
In response to the choice of Street Sweeper, Equality thinks, “We knew we had been guilty, but now we had a way to atone for it” (26). With his intelligence and curiosity, Equality would do much better as a Scholar. The government punishes him for being different, and as a result, they can’t see him become advantageous. They are blinded by their beliefs on