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Ayn Rand's Anthem: A Matter of Indivduality

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"If a man is not faithful to his own individuality, he can not be loyal to anything" (McKay 1). The book Anthem demonstrates that individuality is key if one is to learn, love, and be oneself. Though the Council says the world is equal, it is in reality unbalanced and unfair because the Council makes all the decisions for the place. The book shows that people become mindless and "machine-like" because of Collectivism. Equality, the protagonist and the one with different ideas, shows that identity is very important to humanity. Throughout the book Anthem, the theme of individuality and one's own identity, shown through Equality's own ideas, love, and ego, are important to show Collectivism's downfalls.
Collectivism’s barriers and obstacles is seen in Equality’s struggles to become independent by having his own thoughts and ideas in a dull world. Equality has his own place that he himself goes to study that belonged to the Unmentionable times and he alone learned many new things. "...In these two years we have learned more than we had learned in the ten years of the Home of Students (Rand 36). From the book, one learns that this is a great sin—to have one's own ideas because all the "brothers" are equal and should have equal thoughts. In reality, this is not true for the place is ruled by Council. For light in his cave he steals candles and to learn her steals manuscripts. "This is a great offense" (Rand). In a totalitarian society, keeping manuscripts and knowledge hidden is always beneficial to the government because the government can control people easier because they do not have the knowledge they have. On his own, Equality is able to make the light bulb. He then goes and brings it to the House of Scholars, ready to share his n...

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... an individual, he has his own ideas, plans, thoughts, and is his own being and is looked down upon because of it. This book shows us that Collectivist societies do not work and they lead to brainless, incompetent people who have no meaning in life. The book's theme of individuality and identity show the downfalls of Collectivism vividly and very well. Throughout the book Anthem, the theme of individuality and one's identity, shown through Equality's own ideas, own love, and own ego, are vital to show Collectivism's faults.

Works Cited
"Robert Green Ingersoll." BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2013. 20 December 2013. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertgree165227.html "Claude McKay." BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2013. 19 December 2013. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/claudemcka390421.html Rand, Ayn. Anthem. New York: Dutton, 1995. Print.
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