Equality In Society In Ayn Rand's Anthem

Decent Essays

In Ayn Rand’s Anthem, the society attempts to achieve complete equality, but that attempt is unsuccessful because it eradicates individual thought and decision making, essentially dehumanizing the population. The first evidence of the discouragement of individuality in this dystopia appears in the opening paragraph, where the protagonist, Equality 7-2521, confesses that he is guilty of wrongdoing, saying, “It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others thinks and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws. The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. May we be forgiven!” (17). What stands out immediately is that Equality 7-2521 refers to himself as “we,’ not “I.” This in itself is a clear indication that people are not regarded as individuals in this society but as parts of one big group or family where everything is communal and for the “common good.” Additionally, the phrase “no transgression blacker than to do or think alone” is a blatant expression of the fact that thinking or acting for oneself is the greatest crime in this society. Finally, this paragraph introduces the Council of Vocations, a supposedly omniscient panel that decides everyone’s occupation for them, based on what the society needs and what they are suited

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