Narcissism In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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Vain. Conceited. Narcissistic. These words are commonly believed to be synonyms of the term ego; however, having confidence or high self esteem gives a more accurate description of the word. Society in both Ayn Rand’s novel Anthem and in today’s world has given negative connotation to egoism, but to Prometheus, the protagonist, it is holy. While his entire society believes that having an ego is related to evil, Prometheus challenges everything he is told and discovers and defines himself as an egoist, giving a new meaning to the word. Through events along his journey which confidently affected him, Equality achieved pride in himself and his accomplishments. Much like his so called brothers, he too was once brainwashed by the collectivist community surrounding him. His first step towards escaping was his discovery of the tunnel where he felt safe from this society; where his mind was not …show more content…

After realizing the impact his invention would have on his entire community, he makes an even bigger breakthrough: the feeling of self admiration. His eagerness to share the light with The Council shows how proud he is of it, which in reality, is a direct reflection of the pride he takes in himself for creating such a thing. As mentioned in “The Soul of an Individualist” — a speech from another Ayn Rand novel, The Fountainhead —, this fulfillment that he feels is natural, for “creators [are] not selfless. It is the whole secret of their power — that it was self-sufficient, self-motivated, self-generated”. Not only did Equality experience new emotions from his achievement, but also new desires. He describes that he wishes “to know the likeness of [his] own person” (Rand 62), or in other words, to see what he looks like. This yearning portrays how Equality’s ego is becoming more prominent to him, and soon he will begin to act upon his

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