How The Society Revealed In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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The word “I” establishes one’s distinctiveness. A society that encourages and enforces the binding of men together, therefore forming a collective unit is Ayn Rand’s idea behind her novella Anthem, a story set in a dictator-like dystopian world. The government in Anthem enforces “the great WE”, which reveals the selflessness of the citizens living in that society (19). Simply using the plural pronouns “we”, “they”, and “our” shows the unity of the people, that individuality is a crime, and that the goal of their labor is for the good of everyone else. Once a person turns 15 years of age, their lives are well planned out for them until their deaths. Yet, no one dares to rebel against the government and their crude form of control. There is minor opposition to the authority in this society because people are born with the ideas dictated into their minds and harsh penalties come with the actions. The way people were raised and taught by the Councils’ relentless guidelines forces them to live a life of obedience and fear. From a very young age, children were taught to…show more content…
This shows the government’s way of controlling and keeping order throughout the city. The first time Equality witnesses one of the many punishments is when “men [were] burned alive in the square of the city” (49). A punishment this cruel could only result from speaking the Unspeakable Word that is “I”. The Saint of the pyre, the Transgressor, had the “calmest and the happiest face” all the while he was being burned at the stake (50). This reveals that the Saint of the pyre is sending a message to Equality as the Saint “had chosen us from the crowd and [was] looking straight upon us” during his public execution (51). The message being conveyed to Equality from the Saint of the pyre is keep on fighting for individualism in the society through the word
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