Anthem, by Ayn Rand Essay

Anthem, by Ayn Rand Essay

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Anthem by Ayn Rand is considered a dystopian novel. The characters live in a society where everything is bad, and they have no control over their life or destiny. The book is about a man, Equality 7-2521, who breaks all the laws of his society and dares to be different. The book is in first person and designed to seem like journal entries.
Equality 7-2521 lives in a futuristic society where people have no knowledge of individualism, and the words ‘I’ or ‘me’ do not exist. All members of the society live in groups ruled by councils. The main character desires to study and learn, but was punished while growing up because he was smarter, different, and curious. Throughout the journal it seems that Equality 7-2521 struggles with his natural desire to learn and discover.
There is a distinct symbolism of light in this novel. While growing up Equality 7-2521 wanted to be assigned to the House of Scholars, but instead was made a street sweeper. While doing his daily job he discovers a tunnel from the Unmentionable times. He ran away to his secret tunnel every night where he rediscovers the light bulb. His invention represents his curiosity and the beginning of his individualism. Light is used again when giving Liberty 5-3000 a private name of “The Golden One” and his final name “Prometheus” at the end of the novel. Prometheus is the Greek God that brought fire to men from the Gods. Equality 7-2521 feels the name fitting for himself because of his rediscovery of the light bulb.
Equality 7-2521 believed the Council of Scholars would thank him and make him a member of their council when he would present the light to them, but instead he was condemned and the council was frightened. The council wanted to destroy his creation so he fled t...


... middle of paper ...


...s considered a sin.
Sin is not tolerated in this society. A key character and a foreshadowing event of the entire plot is the burning of the Transgressor. Equality explains that while being burned alive it seems that he suffers no pain because he discovers the meaning of individualism. This directly relates to the joy, and lack of pain Equality 7-2521 feels while being beaten because he had not revealed the secret of the light bulb. Pain did not matter to either character because their ideals were worth the pain. The Transgressor of the Unspeakable Word is an important detail and memory in his life because it foreshadows Equality 7-2521’s destiny to escape, his time in the Palace of Corrective Detention, and the value of “martyrdom,” the willingness to die or suffer for an ideal or belief.
Like at the end of the book Ayn Rand portrays the importance of human EGO.

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