Essay on Ayn Rand's Anthem and Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451

Essay on Ayn Rand's Anthem and Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated that, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Emerson’s words parallel with the words of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Ayn Rand’s Anthem as they each depict a society that is in ruins because the people within are not achieving that “greatest accomplishment.” In Anthem, Rand paints the reader a picture of a society where only one man has the idea of individuality, among so many other machine-like people, constantly doing their work because a detached government told them to. Meanwhile, in Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury portrays a society where there are only a few remnants of hope left, only a few individual people. These are people that memorize books so that they may keep human ingenuity going, a hope for a future generation. Although Anthem and Fahrenheit 451 both tell us how we must keep and expand our individuality, Rand uses a much darker, hopeless society through her characters and lack of advancements in technology while Bradbury gives a glimpse at a technology- obsessed society with some dwindling sparks of hope left in a few characters.

The people within Ayn Rand’s Anthem seem to have a disconnected, dead sense to them, as if they are just machines, lifelessly progressing through a dull existence while a few of Bradbury’s characters have real life within them, a spirit of rebellion and personality disparity between them and all others. Ayn Rand warns the reader about conformity when she includes, “we raised our right arms, and we said all together with the three Teachers at the head: ‘We are nothing. Mankind is all’” (2 Rand). Here we see the parallel of the forces of Hitler in WWII, all the forces joining together...


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..., while in Fahrenheit 451, the reader has a glimpse of hope for the future, even while everything is dark and dreary. Whether or not we are closer to becoming one of these societies or not, we must take heed to what both of these novels are warning against. But how can we change our entire society to make sure that we don't end up in either of those situations? Is there a third situation, one of always avoiding two that is somehow better? How can we change the world?


Works Cited
"Anthem." Google Books. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. .
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967. Print.
"Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. .
Rand, Ayn. Anthem. New York: Dutton, 1995. Print.

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