The Role Of Individuality In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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Individuality “I am. I think. I will. (Rand pg. 94)” In Ayn Rand’s book Anthem, the main character Equality finally learns the word “I.” He finally begins to think for himself after years of living in a society where the word “I” was banned. The people in the society that Equality lived in could never think of themselves, but could only think of what would benefit everyone. In an excerpt of a novel titled The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, she talks about individualism versus collectivism. Anthem deals with this topic as well. Equality’s road to individuality begins with standing up to his oppressors and learning that thinking for one’s self is the only way to happiness and success. To begin, Equality’s road to freedom begins with finding the underground tunnel system. This is where Equality begins to explore his individuality. He steals candles, flints, knives, paper, glass vials, powders, acids, and even manuscripts. He is breaking the law by taking these things, but he is curious, which is where his individuality stems from. In the Fountainhead, Rand declares, “And by living…show more content…
In chapter three of Anthem, Equality states, “We, Equality 7-2521, have discovered a new power of nature… (Rand pg. 53)” In this chapter, Equality fawns over his discovery of copper. He is the first one to discover it in this new society. With the copper wire he discovers, he creates light. Soon after, he decides to show it to the House of Scholars, the group of people who study the ways of the Earth. The scholars reject him. They call him a fool. One scholar threatens to burn him at the stake. In the excerpt from the Fountainhead, Rand explains, “Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light…” Equality was the first man to discover light his society and the scholars wanted him dead, but that didn’t stop him from achieving his
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