Equality 7-521 In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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What makes one person different from another? Is it height, weight, and color of skin, or is it personality, family, and attitude? These differences can define a person and separate them from those around them. These differences make a person an individual; however, in Ayn Rand’s novella Anthem, Equality 7-521 is anything but an individual. He spends his days sweeping the streets and his nights sleeping in a white room with ninety-nine of his brothers. He is not allowed to be alone, to be creative or to think an independent thought. He and his brothers do not even know the word ‘I’, so they simply refer to themself as ‘we’. In Rand’s story, Equality 7-521 is only able to free himself from collectivism and grow as a person when he begins to…show more content…
At the beginning of their relationship, Equality 7-521 “do[es] not know why, when we think of them, we feel of a sudden that the earth is good and that it is not a burden to live” (41). Liberty 5-3000 gives him joy in life and helps him to see the good things in her and in himself. Later in their relationship, they give each other unique names which helps Equality 7-521 to feel unique and separated from his brothers. When he starts to think of his sins he realizes that he “do[es] not think of them as Liberty 5-3000 any longer. We have given them a name in our thoughts. We call them the Golden One” (41), and later he asks, “‘What name have you given us?’ They looked straight into or eyes and they held their head high and they answered: ‘The Unconquered’” (55). This is a defining moment in the story where Equality 7-521 is more than just a word and a number; he becomes a human being and can think of himself as an individual. At the very end of the story, Equality 7-521 talks about joy and how “there is no joy for men, save the joy shared with all their brothers . . . the only things which taught us joy were the power we created in our wires, and the Golden One. And both these joys belong to us alone,” and that “they do not concern out brothers in any way” (86). This shows that he thinks of himself as an individual…show more content…
One of the first major rules that Equality 7-521 breaks is the rule that prohibits men from being alone. He breaks this rule when he finds an underground tunnel and “sit[s] in the tunnel for three hours each night and [studies] . . . and there is no sound of men to disturb [him]” (35). After he finds this tunnel he also commits less severe crimes like stealing manuscripts and candles. As he breaks more rules he begins to question why these rules are in place. Later in the story he loses track of time one night and is caught and lashed, but it was “easy to escape from the Palace of Corrective Detention. The locks are old on the doors and there are no guards about” (61). This shows how intelligent Equality 7-521 is and how he is starting to become slightly arrogant and not only break the government 's rules but disregard them as well. Later, he commits the most severe crime and escapes to the Uncharted Forest. While there he says “We knew that men would not follow us... we wished to be away, away from the City and from the air that touches upon the air of the City. So we walked on . . .” (80). This shows that he wants to be completely separated from anything having to do with his society and their government; he “served nothing and no one. He lived for
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