Ayn Rand’s Anthem starts by Equality 7-2521 saying “It is a sin to write this.”
"We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE, One, indivisible and forever’”(Rand 19). In Ayn Rand’s dystopian novel, Anthem, the citizens are trained from birth to think only in the plural, to the point where they cannot even conceive of individuals, but only see each other as part of the whole group. Rand’s protagonist, Equality 72521, begins the novel as a street-sweeper who is devoted to the group, but begins to move towards individuality as he progresses towards pure selfishness, as Rand believes we all should. Rand uses the words “we” and “I” to represent Equality’s journey from being dependent on the group, to being utterly independent of everyone.
Could you imagine living in a world where you were not your own individual? In the book Anthem, by Ayn Rand, everyone is the same and no one can be “better” or more intelligent than each other. In this book, the characters can not even speak the word “I” without getting executed. Think about having rules that restrict individuals from having their own thoughts, ideas, and opinions. In the book Anthem, the readers will discover that these rules and restrictions become a reality.
Self-reliance. Not very many people have this. Today, our society has grown to become so reliant on one another that people forget how important being independent is in their lives. Ayn Rand shows that this is true through her dystopian novel, Anthem. She does this by developing a protagonist, Equality-72521, who seeks to have the privilege of exploring and taking risks. Equality-72521 lives in a society that shames him for being curious and having an imagination different from the others around him by telling him that he should not be different from others. By placing him into this situation, Rand proves to her readers that the only way to success is through trust in oneself, even through failures and the doubt of others. Rand depicts the theme that self-reliance on one’s own thoughts, actions, and curiosity is the key to success in her novel, Anthem, by showing her readers that taking risks is necessary to learn new things.
Imagine living in a world where everybody's lives are completely mapped out by the government. Where every decision is made without the input of the citizens it affects. In the novella Anthem, Ayn Rand depicts a completely collectivist society, where every idea, action, and invention is purely for the benefit of society as a whole. Everything is done with the entire population in mind, and individuality is extremely frowned upon. However, when the story's protagonist, Equality, makes a huge scientific discovery, his intentions are more selfish than that.
Tohniiya Yazzie per 1 Be unique in your own way, do not let other people tell you what to do. Anthem is a dystopian society. No one thinks for themselves, and there is no individuality, everyone has to think like a group. The leaders are called Council of Scholars and they tell everyone in the society what to think and do. No one is allowed to be different, and everyone is supposed to be the same, which is expected to make the society equal. Despite government regulations, Equality’s individuality and intelligent characteristics combined lead him to rediscover the lightbulb.
Is it possible that Equality didn’t make a wise decision during his time in Anthem? Should he have given away his light bulb so the scholars would destroy it?
Upon first hearing the story of the fateful night of Kitty Genovese and her brutal murder, the room for speculation on the part of the neighbors seems to be slim. Thirty-eight people chose, during this situation, to see or hear what was going on but then did nothing. One could seemingly argue—and very easily—this is immoral and unethical. This assumption is based on a pre-set societal standard. A standard that was made by people who may not have necessarily ever been in such a situation. Objectively speaking, it is possible, highly likely in fact, this was immoral and unethical but, the situations where one could resist an intervention in such a dilemma cannot be ignored.
Unlike during the Unmentionable Times, when men created “towers [that] rose to the sky,” it is an
Society tends to disagree with Ayn Rand’s political views regarding the concept of how a government should be controlled. Despite people contradicting with her beliefs, some politicians recognize her perspective and utilize her logic in debates. Of the politicians that support Rand’s political views, most derive their logic from one of Rand’s widely known novels, Anthem. This particular dystopian novel emphasizes a collective society where the simple thinking of individual choice is prohibited. Rand Paul, a Kentucky senator of the republican party, was influenced by Anthem in such a way that he utilized this book in a debate he took part in back in 2007 which lasted until 2013. In the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, both Ayn Rand and her novel were mentioned by Rand Paul, questioning many people and politicians whether it was appropriate to reference these subjects.
Equality 4-2521 in the book Anthem by Ayn Rand ensured his freedom and victory by concealing his find of the tunnel from the unmentionable times. There were many factors that fed into this victory such as stealing the manuscripts for the House of the Scholars, introducing his discoveries to the House of the Scholars, and choosing his own name later in the book. These ideas introduce a rebellion by Equality 4-2521 or later known as Prometheus that helps him break free from the communist society and shows him the great things that can be done as an individual and not as part of a whole. Also, Equality 4-2521 had conflicting emotions because he wanted to help his brothers but when he refused to tell the council about where he was when he arrived late to the House of the Street Sweepers and running into the forest for his own safety not for those of his ‘brothers’ he realized that the council was wrong. This conflict was a struggle for Equality since he wanted to help his brothers however when they denied his help he concluded that they are wrong and are not worth the effort. Prometheus (Equality 4-2521) only ever wanted to assist his brothers in improving their society but after everything he went through he understood that they didn’t want anything to change even though change is what was needed for their race to evolve.
Society broadcasts that it is unacceptable to be different and that there is a specific way to live; however, Ayn Rand writes about how one can defy this standard. Equality used to think that he had to be equal to everyone else and follow the rules in order to survive in society. In the book it says “We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE, One
“Many men in the Homes of the Scholars have had strange new ideas in the past . . . but when the majority of their brother Scholars voted against them, they abandoned their ideas, as all men must.” Equality presents the council his invention of the lightbulb showing technological progress from the candle. The Council doesn’t care to advance technological progress but only to control it. All the members of the council must agree to approve an invention and that has not happened in a hundred years. This reflects the ideals of collectivism and that the society works on a consensus.
When reading a novel about the ideal society you begin think, this often leads to odd thoughts that you would have to share with your family unit if you had lived in this apparently perfect community. Just think about it, no homicide, no robbery, nothing that could possible put you or your assigned (yes, assigned) family in harm 's way, it really makes you ponder upon what you would be losing. But what about what you gain.
In Ayn Rand’s argument, she says “The ethics of altruism prescribes that we sacrifice our interests and lives for the good of others.” This is true as we see it, Altruism is a way of living, but when living this lifestyle, one will never be happy. Ayn Rand also says “Ethical egoism prescribes that we seek our own happiness exclusively, and as such it is consistent with the happiness goal.” We also know this is a way to live. Ayn Rand’s intent of the argument was to show that selfishness is a way to live. But from the argument we can see that it aims to show egoism is the way to live, while altruism does not meet the goals of happiness.