Collectivist Society Depicted in Ayn Rand’s Anthem

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A captivating novelette in which a man’s priority is to serve only for his brothers, Ayn Rand’s Anthem illustrates a society that has suffered the ghastly consequences of collectivism. She depicts an oppressive culture in which the word “I” is unheard of and men belong to the collective “We.” Men’s lives are determined through the Council of Vocations, a group that maintains a powerful dictatorship by subjugating the public from the beginning of their lives. The idea that “If you are not needed by your brother men, there is no reason for you to burden the earth with your bodies” (Chapter 1) has been forced into average mindset of the vehemently maintained society. In contrast, Rand mocks the totalitarian civilization through the main character Equality. Since he was born, Equality possessed a quick mind and constantly strayed apart from his peers. Through his life, he shows an unwilling behavior to conform not only to his name, but also to the rules of society. After he is found guilty of independent thought, he is sadistically beaten and dragged into the Palace of Corrective Detention, an unguarded jail that castigates the public of their wrongdoings. Shackles are unnecessary as a result of the brainwashed society and their compliance to obey orders, which consequently allows Equality to escape. In a collective society, citizens are denied their inalienable right of individualism, which ultimately eliminates all thoughts of opposition. Through their submission, the presence of their souls vanishes and society deems the collectivist tenet true. The lack of guards and old locks in the Palace of corrective Detention symbolize the evils that result from a collectivist society.

In order for men to espouse the collectivist ideals, it...

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...nthem, she presents a collectivist society in which a man’s inalienable right of individualism has been revoked, which causes the citizens to render their souls to the strong dictatorship. They conform to part of the programmed group referred to as “We” and compromise their desires to accept the collectivist tenet as true. They possess no free thought and are forbidden to have free will. Gradually, they transform to which they need no palpable shackles because their minds are fettered through the deprivation they suffer. However, she uses the main character Equality to break down the binds of society and form his own individual path. Equality’s story to relates to human existence in which men must lead their own lives or suffer the horrid consequences of interdependence and living for society’s sake.

Works Cited
"Anthem" Ayn Rand

"The Ayn Rand Lexicon" Ayn Rand
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