The Struggle For Freedom In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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Ayn Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on February 2nd, 1905. She was only twelve years old when the Bolshevik Revolution led to her father’s pharmacy being nationalized and this event birthed her hatred for communism. She then decided she would use her story-writing skills to express her disliking of collectivism and its impact on Russia. Rand later studied at the University of Petrograd, now known as St. Petersburg, where she studied philosophy and graduated in 1924 with highest honors in history. After graduating, Rand became convinced that Soviet society was not going to change favorably for her and she decided to accept an invitation from her family to move to Chicago. After her arrival in America, she changed her name from Alisa …show more content…

Individual rights have been sacrificed for the greater good of the state. The protagonist, Equality 7-2521 was assigned to be a street sweeper for the city but he has always wanted to bring progress to the society through nature and science. Equality 7-2521 also knows that it is a sin for him to have these ambitions and the government would punish him greatly if he acted on them. However, he continues to perform scientific experiments in secret. In this time he meets a woman named Liberty 5-3000 who he takes notice of, but men and women are not allowed to be romantically inclined unless it is the Time of Mating. However, this does not stop him from falling for her. He calls her “the Golden One” (Guayaco). Meanwhile, in his experiments he discovers electricity and the lightbulb. He is very proud of his creation and, despite knowing the consequences, he decides to take his invention to the Council of Scholars, whose latest discovery is the candle. The scholars are flabbergasted that a street sweeper believes he knows more than they do, but before they can take the lightbulb from Equality 7-2521, he escapes and runs far off into the forest. He is later joined by the Golden One and they discover a house that remained from the days before the collectivist society and he claims it as theirs. Equality 7-2521 finds books in the language he speaks. He discovers the word “I” and when he …show more content…

The novella is her warning of what can and will go wrong in Russia with its political system at the time (Weinacht). Rand specifically makes a parallel to Russian dictator Vladimir Lenin through the Council of Scholars. The Council of Scholars is excited that they have the candle just as much as Lenin was excited that he had electrical power. Rand portrays the idea that “when ‘progress’ is held in the hands of the state, what results is a group of impotent old men celebrating the candle” and further drives home the idea that the expropriation of individual property for the sake of progress, such as when her father’s pharmacy was nationalized, is not progress at all (Weinacht). Rand also portrays a predicted economic collapse of Russia through Anthem. In Russia, the Petrograd value was going down by the day, and so the society in the novella is very far behind from an economic standpoint to show the dangers of communism in Russia. However, one of the clearest lines to draw from Soviet Russia to Anthem is the way the citizens in these societies relate to their government; the citizens exist to serve the state (Weinacht). In Anthem, the citizens have a prayer they are taught

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