In Ayn Rand's story Anthem, the protagonist Equality 7-2521 has a power unlike no other within their collectivist society. One day when Equality was working as a street sweeper, he finds an old abandoned underground railroad tunnel from the Unmentionable Times long ago. This is where he conducts his experiments that fill him with pride and joy. Equality dreams how his new invention that he brought into existence can change the world, but helping mankind is not his true motivation behind his passion to create. Throughout the story, Equality's true motivation is him trying to find his inner self and his identity as an individual.
Equality 7-2521 can free himself from collectivism because he was independent. In the novel Anthem Ayn Rand makes us comprehend that Equality had and inner struggle and
If Equality 7-2521 would have stayed, he would be executed. He wants a fresh start in which he can make his own rules. The first rule Equality 7-2521 made was, “For the word ‘we’ must never be spoken, save by one’s choice and as a second thought. This word must never be placed first within man’s soul, else it becomes a monster, the root of all the the evils on earth, the root of man’s torture by men, and of an unspeakable lie” (97). All of Equality 7-2521’s life he has called himself “we,” but now he realizes that he is his own individual. Also, he realizes that his inventions are more advanced than his brothers. Equality 7-2521 should not be ashamed of this because everyone different and not one is the same as another. He plans on carrying these rules into his new and improved society. Equality 7-2521 states in Anthem, “Gaea is pregnant with my child. Our son will be raised as a man. He will be taught to say ‘I’ and to bear the pride of it. He will be taught to walk straight and on his own feet. He will be taught reverence for his own spirit” (100). This shows the readers that Equality 7-2521 is going to teach his son to be himself and to never let anyone tell him that he is not capable of conquering his dreams. This is what the new society will look like, a place where everyone can do whatever they
The novel Anthem by Ayn Rand is set in a dystopian society where the idea of collectivism is prevalent. Collectivism is the idea of a group having more priority than any of the individuals in it. Throughout the novel, the characters refer to themselves as “we” instead of “I” and refer to each other as their brother men. Equality 7-2521 tells the reader that whenever they feel tempted, they are to repeat the phrase “We are one in all and all in one.There are no men but only the great, WE, One, indivisible and forever.” (Rand, p.19)
Ayn Rand’s Anthem starts by Equality 7-2521 saying “It is a sin to write this.”
Equality knows he is intelligent when he is punished in the Home of the Students because of his quick head. He knew he was different, so he attempted to change that, “We looked upon Union 5-3992, who were a pale boy with only half a brain, and we tried to say and do as they did, that we might be like them, like Union 5-3992, but somehow the Teachers knew that we were not. And we were lashed more often than all the other children.” (Rand 21-22) Equality was so intelligent that he was looked at as evil compared to his brothers,“It was not that the learning was too hard for us. It was that the learning was too easy. This is a great sin, to be born with a head which is too quick. It is not good to be different from our brothers, but it is evil to be superior to them. The Teachers told us so, and they
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.
One of the first major rules that Equality 7-521 breaks is the rule that prohibits men from being alone. He breaks this rule when he finds an underground tunnel and “sit[s] in the tunnel for three hours each night and [studies] . . . and there is no sound of men to disturb [him]” (35). After he finds this tunnel he also commits less severe crimes like stealing manuscripts and candles. As he breaks more rules he begins to question why these rules are in place. Later in the story he loses track of time one night and is caught and lashed, but it was “easy to escape from the Palace of Corrective Detention. The locks are old on the doors and there are no guards about” (61). This shows how intelligent Equality 7-521 is and how he is starting to become slightly arrogant and not only break the government 's rules but disregard them as well. Later, he commits the most severe crime and escapes to the Uncharted Forest. While there he says “We knew that men would not follow us... we wished to be away, away from the City and from the air that touches upon the air of the City. So we walked on . . .” (80). This shows that he wants to be completely separated from anything having to do with his society and their government; he “served nothing and no one. He lived for
In conclusion, Equality's true motives behind his work are much more selfish than they first appear to be. Equality strives to fulfil his own personal desire rather than contribute everything to society, and this isn't necessarily a negative thing. Selfishness and selflessness can be balanced, and this balance is crucial to a functioning
“How dared you think that your mind held greater wisdom than the minds of your brothers?” (Chapter 7, paragraph 14) said the members of the council. They did not want to believe what was in front of them because it was created on his own. As they continue to go on about their disappointment they bashed him with words, “to hold yourself as one alone and with the thoughts of the one and not of the many?”. (chapter 7, paragraph 15) The words that were coming from them showed him deny and pain. Although the members punished and refused to accept Equality’s invention, he never let that bring down his motivation. He was determined to express himself in a way that no one else did, even if it meant him getting in
From the very beginning, Equality had known that he was different, he had an inimitable mentality from his brothers. As long as he could have remembered, Equality was shunned for being unequal from his brothers, when asking questions or wanting to discover new things. “Your eyes are as a flame, but our brothers neither hope not fire. Your mouth is cut out of granite, but out brothers are soft and humble. Your head is high, but our brothers cringe. You walk, but our brothers crawl” (page 82-83). Even though Equality put effort to become equal to his brothers and not feel the guilt of being different, he expected the dissimilarity between him and his brothers. Liberty 5-3000 admired the unique traits that made Equality a distinctive character, as the story went on, Equality accepted the fact that he will always be out of the ordinary. He wants to advance his knowledge about the world around him and answer the questions he has always pondered. “We have some to see how great is the unexplored, and many lifetimes will not bring us to the end of our quest. Be we wish no end to our quest” (page 36). The society that Equality and Liberty are from, implemented uniformity and being different is considered a transgression. With questions that do not have answers, determined Equality to solve and discover the answers, he wished that the discovery will never end. In conclusion, becoming his own individual made him unique and differentiates him from his brothers and sisters left in the
Equality 7-2521 has slowly been piecing his ego together the entire novel, and at this point he declares his intentions to fight for man’s right to their own ego. His declaration states the following: “And here, over the portals of my fort, I shall cut in the stone the word which is to be my beacon and my banner. The word which will not die, should we all perish in battle. The word which can never die on this earth, for it is the heart of it and the meaning and the glory. The sacred word: EGO” (Rand 105). Equality 7-2521’s journey to individuality has finally reached an acme where he discovers his true purpose. He has discovered the importance of the word I, and his discovery helps him question the life he has been living, and envision a world free from oppression.
Every great heroin will face a plethora of conflict in their journey. For Equality, it is not any less. Equality faces internal and external conflict in his path to heroism, faces conflict with others, but also himself. As his desire for a new life grows, more problems arise.
What makes Equality 7-2521’s victory possible is his drive to know more about how things are and work. “His vision, his strength, his courage came from his own spirit. A man’s spirit, however, is his self. That entity which is his consciousness. To think, to feel, to judge, to act are the functions of the ego” (Rand 7). Since the society noticed
“IT IS A SIN TO WRITE THIS”(17), as Equality 7-2521 said when he was in the dark damp cave of blackness where he went to be alone so he could concentrate on his ideas that he wasn’t allowed to have. Anthem, by Ayn Rand, portrays a primitive way of life that describes a depressing future only consisting of rule and the unknown. Throughout the book there is one main thought made by all the characters and they all wonder what had happened before “The Great Rebirth” and why the Council wanted to hide it from them. It is like all their minds were wiped from the face of the earth and the clock of all time had started from zero. They had forgotten science and everything invented by it. This implies that the nature of science, technology, and the progress of it had been wiped away by the giant hand of government. Anthem establishes this view by using the idea of a primitive world in the