Both Ayn Rand’s Anthem and The Soul of an Individualist display the struggles of living in a collective and oppressive society where new ideas and inventions are denied, and how the individual must break free towards an individual and creative spirit. The individual often encounters struggles along the way as they try to break free towards individualism. The struggles include guilt, a fear of punishment, and a fear of change.
The poem “Invictus” by William E. Henley, and the novel Anthem by Ayn Rand, both have common themes that discuss the importance of individuality. Each of the themes that these works have to offer will be discussed throughout the paragraphs of this essay.
Ayn Rand, the author of Anthem, states, “The mind is an attribute of an individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain.” This statement means Ayn believes highly in individualism. Individualism is a belief in the freedom of action of individuals. Ayn Rand’s theme of individualism is not a sin is developed and supported in many of her works such as Anthem through the characters, Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000, and their actions.
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.
What lies at the heart of each character of The Fountainhead is their own central principle, idea and drive. Roark, the hero and protagonist, embodies creativity, efficiency, independence, and reason. On the other hand, Lois Cook is the avatar of a notorious logical fallacy—the Appeal to Novelty. This fallacy states that because something is novel and never-before-seen, it is automatically better than an existing predecessor; the only criterion used to measure greatness is modernism. While this fallacy may be a rebellion against the familiar, conceivably stagnating “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” mentality, it manages to be only a complete reversal of the philosophy, providing no further reasoning as to why the novelty is actually better.
Throughout the Novel The Fountainhead the main conflict between Individualism and Collectivism is put on display. Howard Roark, the embodiment for individualism, creates buildings that are not currently accepted in society. Throughout the course of the novel he is fighting Ellsworth Toohey, the embodiment of collectivism. Toohey feels that people should do what everyone likes and individuality should be non-existent. These two ideas couldn’t be more different and are constantly clashing.
Individualism has been a common theme in novellas of the past and of today’s morals. Individuality can be expressed by showcasing one’s talents or setting one’s self apart from a group. In Anthem by Ayn Rand, Equality's experiments represent his desire for individualism within the collectivist society.
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.
In Ayn Rand’s Novel Anthem she displays an orwellian type of dystopian society with the thoughts of the protagonist, Equality 7-2521, guiding the way of the anecdote. Throughout the book many discrepancies arise between modern day societies and the one depicted within Anthem. Such as how the word “ego” is recognized in these contrasting societies. To Prometheus the word “ego” is held to a holy standard, while on the other hand to be a self-centered person, in today’s modern societies, it is usually seen as erroneous and as an act of folly. When referencing Ayn Rand’s novel Anthem and the passage “The Soul of an Individualist” from her alternative novel The Fountainhead one can conspicuously certify that Equality 7-2521 is an unrepentant egoist. Being the egoist he is holds a
The novella, Anthem, by Ayn Rand, exhibits the philosophy of objectivism through the unique setting that takes place. The setting plays a crucial role in how the plot and character development unfolds. The main character, Equality 7-2521, lives in a world where people are denied the knowledge of individuality and opportunity. The beliefs of the society that Equality 7-2521 comes to believe are influenced by the setting and give background for the plot. Also, the setting influences Equality 7-2521 to come to his own conclusions about life because of the difference in the way he lives throughout the novella.
There is little doubt that Rand’s representation of individuality in Anthem aligns with her own Objectivist philosophy. In Anthem, the City’s emphatic view toward collective achievement carries a strong sense of altruism. However, Rand perceives the concept of altruism with great disdain, believing that this does not promote a positive, egalitarian society. Rather, she views it as an exploitative relationship between the leaders who enforce equality and the citizens of said society. In one of Rand’s speeches, she proclaimed that altruism promoted a sense of morality based on guilt rather than human nature; in conjunction with this claim, she describes altruism as a contributor to dictatorships that prioritize compromising individuality
Rand declares the Abrahamic God as faulty and non-existent; mankind should not be enslaved to Him or to others, but to be dedicated to only himself. According to Anthem, human nature’s anxious breaths cannot be stifled with a series of synthetic laws that limit man’s ego, synonymous to ‘selfishness’ today. While the word ‘selfishness’ carries a negative connotation to most, to Rand, selfishness is good; to “redeem both man and morality, it is the concept of ‘selfishness’ that one has to redeem” (The Virtue of Selfishness, ix). She does not define selfishness as arrogance, but as the leading factor that will enable a man to title himself the king of his beliefs. Yet while Rand elaborately praises the human ego, and incessantly condemns the dystopian morality, she reminds people of mankind’s dominance over the earth, and the gift of freedom and will endowed by the one and only,
In our discussions of Anthem, by Ayn Rand, key aspects of true individuality, including assertive and defiant behavior. Ayn Rand believes that both these components of Equality’s personality have shaped his final form of being an individual from his peers. Without his confidence and willingness to rebel against society, Equality would have conformed, acting and thinking like all the people around him. From this perspective, we see that the protagonist’s confidence elevates his bravery, while his defiant behavior shoves him away the side that compels him to accept society’s norm. Correspondingly, TED Talk, delivered by Hyeonseo Lee, agrees that courage and defiance also led Lee to become the person she is today. The difficult
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.
In order to understand the moral fabric of the world, it is important to question any information that is given to an individual, instead of blindly accepting the majority opinion and giving it full credibility and validity based on other people’s opinions. Plato’s work, The Republic introduces the allegory of the cave, which is metaphorical scenario that attempts to explain the importance of questioning norms that may seem trivial. Plato illustrates a cave where bounded prisoners have lived all their lives in seclusion, away from the outside world. In their immobile state, they can only look at the wall in front of them which is illuminated by a small fire that has been going on behind them. The wall constantly projects shadows of people