Identity In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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We live in a society in which conformity is not only encouraged but often rewarded. As my grandfather used to always say, “It’s the [penguin] who is different that gets left out in the cold.” Sure, many try to push the narrative that we ought to lead, and that being divergent is what makes one “special.” But while this may be true in a purely academic sense, socially, those who do not abide by unspoken norms are typically outcast as pariahs; they are considered the “undesirables.” As such, many teenagers change their personality by emulating others in attempt to gain acceptance into certain social cliques. This inevitably eliminates all aspects of their personality that make them unique: their creative thinking, their quirky behaviors, and unfortunately in some cases their innovative ideas.…show more content…
In order to counteract this sociological phenomenon, the late Ayn Rand’s Anthem should be required reading for all high school students. Although I have several intellectual qualms with the book’s author, its core message is incredibly powerful: even in the midst of oppressive powers, individualism is the most important aspect of the self. The main character discovers in his brief adventure that his ultimate purpose in life can only be created by himself, not by anyone else. He learns that it is more important to be a freethinking individual with a unique personality than to become one of the many impressionable robots of which his society is
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