'Conformity In Ayn Rand's Anthem'

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Even though there are billions of people that walk this Earth, everybody is their own individual with their own ideas and personalities. Because of this, it is hard to imagine a world where personality and individuality do not exist. But Ayn Rand’s Anthem does just that; she paints a society in which no one is an individual. Anthem’s society is that of conformity, which means one must be complacent with the rules and laws of his/her society. Sure one could see this as a good thing, but throughout Anthem, Ayn Rand shows that conformity is not as good as it sounds, but rather the worst way to live. Equality succeeds in finding happiness and meaning in life by learning to be an individual and taking risks that no one in his society dared to do…show more content…
In Anthem, Equality discovers electricity and finds that this power is good and he wishes to share it with his fellow brothers in the hopes that he may be able to help his people. Ayn Rand expresses the importance of this as she states multiple ways Equality can spread his newfound creation: Then we thought of the meaning of that which lay before us. We can light our tunnel, and the City, and all of the Cities of the world with nothing save metal and wires. We can give our brothers a new light cleaner and brighter than any they have ever known. The power of the sky can be made to do men’s bidding. There are no limits to its secrets and its might, and it can be made to grant us anything if we but choose to ask (Rand 60). Equality finds meaning in being able to provide something to society that no one else can and his individualism is what led him to the discovery of electricity. Without individuality Equality would have never sought out knowledge or stumbled upon something that could help his society; and because of this individuality Equality ventured farther into himself to find that he meant more than what he was led to…show more content…
When Equality learns of these rights he is awed by the power they hold and the fact that they do not have these rights now. “At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right” (Rand 101-102). At this point in the book Equality knows the atrocities that his society committed by making all peoples one whole with no feelings of their own. He understands that he is no longer “we” but rather the sacred “I” that his society tried to make everyone forget. In Equality’s society it is forbidden to think of oneself as an individual and they were taught that they were “we” not “I” , in fact, those of Equality’s society didn’t even know that the word “I”

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