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Theme Of Collectivism In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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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) Alisa Rosenbaum, who later changed her name to Ayn Rand, was born in Russia and grew up there as a child. Her family was a part of the middle class. In 1917 communism came to power in Russia, resulting in the confiscation of many small businesses…show more content…
In their society, it is a sin for a citizen to have their own individual ideas and preferences, much like how in communist Russia the people were treated as one. The main character, Equality is said to be cursed for being intelligent and asking questions. He later finds a tunnel from the Unmentionable Times which he uses to conduct his own experiments. Equality learns how to make light using electricity and decides to share his discovery with the Council of Scholars, hoping that they will forgive his sins. When Equality takes his discovery to the World Council of Scholars, they are angered by his discovery of light and tell him that they have “much to say to a wretch who have broken all the laws… How dared you think that your mind held greater wisdom than the minds of your brothers.” (Rand, p.71). Similarly, in communism and collectivism, people are expected do things for the group rather than themselves. Just as Equality’s invention of light was rejected, Rand’s novel The Fountainhead was also rejected by many publishing
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