“The word ‘We’ is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it” (Rand 37). This philosophical quote comes from Anthem by Ayn Rand. She uses perfectly sculpted language to drive the actions in this story. Similar to George Orwell’s novel 1984, Rand uses her language and literary devices to depict a dystopian society. Her techniques create a philosophical novel intended to question ourselves and our society today. Rand uses the literary device, allegory to create the society described, which moves the direction of the story to a climactic dénouement, and uses the theme of individuality to express a message to her readers.
Collectivism is a very common theme in Ayn Rand’s writing. From Anthem to The Fountainhead, her opinion is very clear: individualism is the source of freedom and joy, while collectivism is the root of sorrow and slavery. In Anthem, the main character, Equality 7-252, has grown up in a collectivist society that has remained strong for centuries. In that society, no one has had the choice to do what they want to do, love what (or who) they love, and simply be who they are. That society praises the idea that men live only for each other. Living for oneself is evil, a Transgression. The idea of “I”, “Me”, and “Mine” has disappeared, dragging the precious words along with it. Throughout the plot, Equality 7-2521 is seen both unintentionally and intentionally defying his society. At first, he condemns himself, describing his evil acts and mind and labeling his different mindset as a curse. “We were born with a curse. It has always driven us to thoughts which are forbidden.” (Rand 18) He is also condemned by others, for things he cannot control. He is taller than most other people, he has preferences for what he wishes to become, and he has ideas and opinions. Yet when his life assignment is Street Sweeper, he rejoices. He sees that as a way to pay penance for his sins. Later on, however, he embraces his individuality. “I am. I think. I will.” (Rand 94) He is the first to accept the idea of individuality for centuries, and helps others accept it, too.
A. Authors work: Ayn Rand has written many novels, including The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, Night of January 16th, The Virtue of Selfishness, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, and her first novel We the Living, Which was written in 1934 and was published in 1936.
As the overall book, I actually kind of liked it because it was kind of hard to understand because they couldn’t use “I” and I like challenges. They had to use “We” instead of using “I” to explain they self or the story. The book was okay as a whole but still kind of hard to understand I got kind of irritated after a while, while I was reading the book because of the way it was written.
Ayn Rand’s ideology centralizes on the idea that total human individuality is absolute and is obtained only by means of reason, self-esteem, and total worship of virtues. Atlas Shrugged ideal hero, John Galt, is the major example of objectivism and its complex layers. He is the symbol of no guilt, no fear, no submission, and no doubt in the value of the mind. Henceforth, John Galt is the reality that lies behind any human; the use of reason and self-interest as the motor for the improvement of the world; and, in consequence, the natural right to live by the power of thinking.
At first glance, the book Anthem by ayn rand is pretty good. The book flows nicely and makes you want to stay up reading it instead of sleeping(at least that’s what I did). But there is a lot more hidden in the writing than you might think. In this essay, I will be discuss the topics of the unspeakable word, Objectivism, Rand putting her life into her work, and the possibilities of a connection between Anthem and the book “Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld. Ayn rand is a really smart author, and she has hidden many secrets in her book.
Ayn Rand uses the theme of collectivism and why it is evil throughout Anthem. Collectivism refers to the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it. The main character in her novel is Equality 7-2521, and she talks about how he despises the society’s way of collectivism. I will be talking about the ways in which Ayn Rand uses Equality 7-2521 to show why collectivism is an evil thing, and what he tries to do when he wants to change the rule of his society.
To begin, Ayn Rand shows the negative side of collectivism with the creation of the main character Equality 7-2521. Rand’s strong beliefs had her create a whole character that is against the large idea of collectivism. In Anthem, it starts off by saying, “It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil” (Rand 17). Collectivism portrays the idea of being an individual as a sin. Because Rand is being derogatory, she makes collectivism seem wrong. The character is breaking the rules that he grew up learning and being forced to obey. Throughout the book, Equality 7-2521 continues to take his own path and become an individual against collectivism. Rand explains in the story Anthem, “This is a great sin, to be born with a head which is too quick. It is not good to be different from our brothers, but it is evil to be superior to them” (Rand 21). The word “evil” is often associated with demons and the devil, so Rand's use of that word sets the tone of negativity. Collectivism makes the people feel guilty for being born with the ability to learn and comprehend schooling at a faster rate than others. This dystopian world is warped; instead of being praised and acknowledged for being advanced, they have to keep it to themselves and pretend to be normal when they aren't.
How should we live our lives? Do you live for others or for yourself? What do you deem to be the ideal: selflessness, or selfishness? Why? Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead addresses these issues and her philosophy behind it called Objectivism. Her rebellious rhetoric is to convince us that the only true virtue is selfishness and that we should abide by its standards and live for ourselves.
The future as we imagine it, is to be filled with hi-tech gadgets and gear. Yet we consistently forget about the past and how the past always catches up, where light is gone and equality is a must were no sight of uniqueness is allowed. If that were the case we wouldn’t not be human. “Anthem” by Ayn Rand explains this world where everyone is the same and everyone is told exactly what to do. Equality 7-2521 is the main character of this story and tries to fix this problem. In this story, there is a dystopian protagonist, and a dystopian protagonist is a character that feels trapped and is struggling to escape his/her society. Equality, the dystopian protagonist in “Anthem”, questions the society he lives in by figuring out that being
John Galt was a worker at a factory called Twentieth Century Motor Company which implemented a policy that ultimately led the company into its own destruction. The Twentieth Century Motor Company operated on the radical plan of paying its workers based on their proclaimed needs, and those who worked the hardest were required to help those who did not. Outraged by this, Galt refuses to work and swears that he will “stop the engine of the world.” As a result, brilliant industrialists begin to slowly disappear out of society forcing the collapse of capitalism to give rise to bureaucrats, politicians, and looters who find government intervention as the only means of fixing the country’s economic situation.
When humans were in their primal state, before they could even comprehend calculus or geometry, they looked at the trees, bushes and plants and grabbed the fruit from their branches. They then looked to the stars and were fascinated the way we are today. Neanderthals reconciled the fact they could not reach these stars with the theory that they were a fruit for a much more powerful and an encompassing being. The point being humanity has a habit of explaining what we cannot fathom, by creating a construct of something greater than themselves, something omnipotent. The prominent religious books of our time, the new and old testament have struggled to explain what exactly the intangible being known as G-d can do as well as explaining the idea
“When one acts on pity against justice, it is the good whom one punishes for the sake of the evil; when one saves the guilty from suffering, it is the innocent whom one forces to suffer.”
Hitler once stated “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” This means that whoever is in control of the youth will control what is going to happen, because the youth are the future. Anthem by Ayn Rand demonstrates that Dictators are all powerful and will do anything to keep that power.