Temptation and Transgresions in Anthem by Ayn Rand

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"We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE, one, indivisible, and forever." (Rand 19) A golden value, held dear by the entirety of the society within Ayn Rand's novella, Anthem. A simple string of words with the almighty power to shape lives. A phrase repeated whenever temptation is felt. A silver promise lingering through the air at every waking moment, yet so easily broken by a single individual: Prometheus, who tore apart all he had ever known with a series of individualistic acts. However, Prometheus eventually came to realize that these transgressions were not only essentially driven by basic human instinct, but they also exemplified the underestimated capability of man, and initiated a much-overdue pursuit of freedom, though they were viewed to be negative by society, due to contrasting beliefs. Not only did Prometheus commit said transgressions with his actions, but his sins also shone through his thoughts and feelings, on a more subtle level, as he held various beliefs contradictory to those of his society. This is glaringly apparent in even the novel's opening sentence: "It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see," (Rand 17) stating that the novel in its entirety is a crime. However, within the book, Prometheus continues down this path of wrongdoings, on which he discovers and studies electricity, leading to the belief that he is capable of contributing

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