'Power In Ayn Rand's Anthem'

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Ayn Rand’s Anthem takes place in a strict, collectivist society. The protagonist in the novel is named Equality 7-2521. He has always felt as though he is somewhat of an outcast in his society. Freedom and individual rights, including individual thought, have been outlawed. Equality 7-2521 is a Street Sweeper of the city. This occupation was chosen for him by the Council of Vocations. On his own time, Equality experiments with electricity to create light. His invention is a box of glass that glows when its wires are connected. In a way, the light serves as Equality’s sole source of hope and understanding of the outside world. In Anthem by Ayn Rand, the light Equality demonstrates knowledge and personal experience, which ultimately lead to the truth.…show more content…
The city Equality resides in is dingy and dark. Candles are used for electricity. Equality triumphantly proclaims his invention:”We made it. We created it. We brought it forth from the night of the ages” (Rand 59). This light represents the abstract idea of knowledge. It is brought forth from the “night of the ages,” in which the lack of light symbolizes ignorance. Equality is able to harness his knowledge and use it to create something significant. He realizes that his invention is capable of doing many things: “We can light a tunnel and the city, all the cities of the world and nothing save metal and wires” (Rand 60). However, Equality’s main motivation is personal achievement. He does this for him and him alone, although he knows his creation has the potential to be something
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