Analyzing Anthem Essay

1123 words - 5 pages

The past experience that Rand was subject to caters to the historical lens. In her adolescence, author Ayn Rand witnessed the civil war in Russia between a communist and capitalist party. This war resulted in Russia’s adoption of the communistic principles. With the exposure to such as system, Rand discovered she strongly agreed with the sentiment of the collectivist society. In her later age, she moved to the United States, where she began writing novels about polarized societies. These societies illustrated the heavy biases that depict her tenacious disdain for the communist system. In the particular novella Anthem, Rand heeds an ominous warning about the dangers of depending on the ‘we’ of society, as it ultimately acts as a suppressant on progressivism and individuality.
Using ‘we’ as the primary focal point of a society, in Rand’s opinion, ultimately leads to a society trapped in an archaic state. She conveys point through the depiction of the political system's primacy to denote all men as equals. This halts the progression and evolution of man based upon the pedestal of law. Under the circumstance that Rand has illustrated, where all men are created equal, all men are equal in law. Therefore, all decisions have a ubiquitous impact and the verdict must remain unanimous. Formulating opinions, even in the majority, are strictly forbidden, as it is a sin to occupy thoughts unless they are thought by all men (Rand). The employment of these ideals appears as Equality speaks to the World Council about implementing his light bulb into the city. The prospect of this new idea immediately fills the council with a profound fear, to which they immediately act upon and quickly reject his idea. Also during this scene, the Council reiterates the difficulty in producing new products. It had taken them years to be able to introduce the candle into society and still inventions that are created in the House of Scholars are discarded when told. The fear that the Council showcases derives from the punitive measures taken when dared to have individual thoughts. Conclusively, it portrays the conceptual flaws in the collectivist society through the the motif of its primitive nature.
This event acts as a bridge for another belief that Rand has included in this novella. It, however, revolves around the idea that one’s work is a natural extension of their mental capacity to function as an individual. Equality captures this belief in the drastic measures taken for the protection of his light. Working in the tunnel, he looks at his invention from a new perspective. Equality recognizes in this moment that the true strength of his hands through their ability to create a tangible product. He even goes as far to say that the “wire is a part of our body” (Rand 88). Viewing the glowing light as a functioning portion of himself, he goes to new lengths to see it protected. His will is exemplified through many tactics. The first of these occurs when he is almost caught and...

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