Man Vs. Society In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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Imagine a world, a society, where personal beliefs and interests mean nothing. A society where the self is worth nothing, but “we,” the people, means all. That world is Anthem, by Ayn Rand. In that world of Anthem is Equality, a young man who eventually breaks the bonds placed on him of collectivism. Anthem is defined as a dystopian work of literature seeing as the conflicts Rand uses such as man vs. society, man vs. technology and man vs. self. Rand uses Equality’s first conflict of man vs. society to show Anthem is a dystopia. He struggles multiple times against society, first with preferring to receive a job at the House of Scholars. Again, he hides a secret from society when he discovers an underground subway tunnel. He experiences direct…show more content…
This shows that to make no one above others, all inventions have been removed from their society. The biggest conflict Rand manipulates to make Anthem dystopian is man vs. self. Multiple times, Equality is stuck, searching for words that he doesn’t know exist. He always uses the word “we” to refer to himself. That is, until Equality escapes from his society into the Uncharted Forest and stumbles upon an aged house from the “Dark Ages” full of information about that time period. That is where he and Liberty 5-3000 discover the words “I” and “ego.” This shows Anthem is dystopian because the protagonist uncovers the true dystopia from their beloved dream utopia. Man vs. society, man vs. technology and man vs. self are all defining features of Ayn Rand’s Anthem and other dystopian works. These conflicts show the true colors of such societies: collectivist, altruist, or egalitarianist. They show that technology plays a role in giving society its character or foreshadows a dystopia. They also reveal what is truly at work behind the mask of its “perfect” society. In conclusion, Rand and other authors warn that utopias are a danger to humanity and that “utopia,” the non-existent land, shall always and forever stay as
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