In Ayn Rand’s novella, Anthem, mankind is a philanthropic machine. To achieve a common goal, the brotherhood disregards personal ambitions and nobly collaborates. Each decision of the mechanized society is compelled by spurious collective thought, and their so called advancements, by joint action. However, one man in this machine malfunctions: Equality-72521. With an inquisitive nature, an innovative mind, and latent desire, Equality possesses the traits of a visionary. Every step Equality takes, is one away from the public-spirited system; another towards personal identity. Each step is an internal struggle, due to the computerized brainwash and eloquent reprogram of Equality’s instinctive mind. But nature tells Equality that his DNA
"We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE, One, indivisible and forever’”(Rand 19). In Ayn Rand’s dystopian novel, Anthem, the citizens are trained from birth to think only in the plural, to the point where they cannot even conceive of individuals, but only see each other as part of the whole group. Rand’s protagonist, Equality 72521, begins the novel as a street-sweeper who is devoted to the group, but begins to move towards individuality as he progresses towards pure selfishness, as Rand believes we all should. Rand uses the words “we” and “I” to represent Equality’s journey from being dependent on the group, to being utterly independent of everyone.
Anthem is a very symbolic novel that reinforces and expresses Ayn Rand's beliefs. The novel Anthem focuses on collectivism which is the thought that everything should be done for the good of the group. Great examples of symbolism is the uncharted forest, the name prometheus and the light bulb.
Equality is something people want till people actually have it. Equality often limits a person’s abilities and disables to do something for themselves or inspire themselves. Equality's, the main character in the book Anthem, the primary motivation is proving that he is smart enough to become a scholar. Equality has a right to be motivated in this way since he believes that he can help the society so he is giving into the collectivism. I think that if everyone was motivated in this way, there would be a more progressive society where people sought to improve themselves and society at the same time.
To begin, Albert Einstein once said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Curiosity, a desire to know or learn something, must exist in in this world in order for new things to be discovered. In the novel, Anthem, written by Ayn Rand, the male protagonist, Equality 7-2521, lives in a dystopian society in which everyone are forced to learn and think the way the World Council of Scholars want them to. The World Council of Scholars are the smartest people who dictate everything in this society. Equality 7-2521 begins to break away from this conformity, beginning with his encounter with an underground tunnel where he learns of electric light; then he presents his discovery to the World Council of Scholars. The rejection of his discovery leads him to the Uncharted Forest, an area around the city where it is illegal to go, being followed by Liberty 5-3000, his girlfriend, and resulting in finding a house from the Unmentionable Times, or times before the society was created. There are manuscripts from the Unmentionable Times inside that house, that
When one is confined to society and held captive against their ego, it is imperative that they learn to eulogize their own individuality, and learn to improve themselves. In Ayn Rand’s novella, Anthem, Rand uses Equality 7-2521 to communicate the importance of the individual. Equality has always had his own sense of individuality that causes him to stand out and defy the social norms. His individuality allows him to persevere and diverge from collectivist society.
She tells him she wants to go with him and only be with him, calling herself as one since she has no knowledge of the word “I.” They leave their society behind. Once they find a home for themselves, they begin their life together. Equality continues his learning with materials they find in their newfound home, in the Uncharted Forest. After he figures out the ‘I’ word he thinks, “And when I understood this word, the book fell from my hands, and I wept, I who had never known tears.”
As Equality starts to grasp onto topics not known to people of his society, he starts questioning the actions he involves himself in, but ultimately develops a sense of independence from society as these new activities start bringing him happiness and delight. Equality shows these emotions as he describes, “And yet there is no shame in us and no regret... it seems to us that our spirit is clear as a lake troubled by no eyes” (37). Equality feels “no shame” and “no regret” in everything he’s doing, but this is just the beginning of his growing awareness towards being sovereign from his original society. He continues by expressing that his “spirit is clear as a lake troubled by no eyes.”
Throughout the book Equality slowly morphs into an individual due to different things that left an impact on him along the process of his story. This is all because writing is a sin in Equality’s society because writing can lead to self exploration, the society’s desired effect is for there to be zero individuals and accomplishes this goal by physically and mentally changing everyone. But Equality's final assessment of his so called sin is correct, in the terms of moral assessment which by definition is “the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual”. Therefore Equality discovers that he has done no sin at all, reaching individuality Equality finds out is not a sin, but is simply the path of truly finding what is actually
Equality does this by when he first falls in love with Liberty, he is obsessed. However, when his invention is rejected by the council, he starts to realize he doesn’t need to be in a group and in result, starts to love Liberty less. When he understand individuality fully, he becomes very selfish and doesn’t care for Liberty at all and thinks of her as an object. Equality felt he needed to be with a group and with Liberty. Through his journey he discovered that he doesn’t need to be with a group and can be independent.
Later in the novella, Equality does not care what laws he breaks because he knows that he is different and he is starting to realize that being different is not something to shelter and be ashamed of. “We have stolen candles from the Home of the Street Sweepers, we have stolen flints and knives and paper, and we have brought them to this place” (Rand 35). This shows that for Equality to fulfill his curiosity, he will go against his society and do what he feels is right. “We lunged against the door and it gave way. We stole through the dark passages, and through dark streets, and down our tunnel” (67).
They talk and walk together whenever they get the chance to. That is another transgression he broke, but he is starting not to feel guilty. Equality feels like the girl Liberty, thinks the same as he. They named each other, Liberty named Equality the Unconquered and Equality named Liberty, Golden