Individualism in "Anthem" by Ayn Rand

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Anthem, by Ayn Rand, is a very unique novel. It encircles individualism and makes the reader think of how people can conform to society and do as they are told without knowing the consequences and results of their decisions. Also, it teaches the importance of self expression and the freedom that comes along with being your own person and having the power to choose what path to take in life. Figurative language is used often in this book and in a variety of quotes that have great importance to the theme, plot, and conflict of the novel.

“We blew out the candle….” The first thing that is apparent about this quote is the use of we. The word we is used throughout the book in place of I. This is directly related to the society in the novel that completely takes away individualism. The citizens of the setting do not have names and are not allowed to choose their jobs, friends, or even spouses. The character says “There is nothing left around us” which is directly related to the main character feeling alone. He feels like he is the only person who questions life and knows that it was not meant to be this way. Also, this quote sets a dark setting which then gives the reader an ominous feeling that is present throughout the novel. This also is related to the dark and dismal lives that everyone lives during this time. Finally, the main character describes his surroundings as a prison, or that it gives a prison-like feel. This also is related to how he feels different and trapped in this way of life. He knows there is much more to the life he leads and feels trapped and does not know what he can do to change it.

“But international 4-8818 are different…like fireflies.” This book has a very deep and dark feeling to it, especially in the ...

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...weak and want to shrink out of sight because there is no happiness in their world. There is no joy, no choice, and no individuality. If those qualities are not present in a life, then what is the purpose of living? In the council’s opinion the purpose of life and living is to provide for all of man (meaning to just work day in and day out) and not for oneself.

If my life had no purpose, no individuality, and no happiness, I would not want to live. This book teaches the importance of self expression and independence. If we did not have these necessities, then life would be like those in this novel. Empty, redundant, and fearful. The quotes above show how different life can be without our basic freedoms. This novel was very interesting and it shows, no matter how dismal a situation is, there is always a way out if you never give up, even if you have to do it alone.

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