Anthem: A Matter Of Indivduality Essay

1073 words - 5 pages

"If a man is not faithful to his own individuality, he can not be loyal to anything" (McKay 1). The book Anthem demonstrates that individuality is key if one is to learn, love, and be oneself. Though the Council says the world is equal, it is in reality unbalanced and unfair because the Council makes all the decisions for the place. The book shows that people become mindless and "machine-like" because of Collectivism. Equality, the protagonist and the one with different ideas, shows that identity is very important to humanity. Throughout the book Anthem, the theme of individuality and one's own identity, shown through Equality's own ideas, love, and ego, are important to show Collectivism's downfalls.
Collectivism’s barriers and obstacles is seen in Equality’s struggles to become independent by having his own thoughts and ideas in a dull world. Equality has his own place that he himself goes to study that belonged to the Unmentionable times and he alone learned many new things. "...In these two years we have learned more than we had learned in the ten years of the Home of Students (Rand 36). From the book, one learns that this is a great sin—to have one's own ideas because all the "brothers" are equal and should have equal thoughts. In reality, this is not true for the place is ruled by Council. For light in his cave he steals candles and to learn her steals manuscripts. "This is a great offense" (Rand). In a totalitarian society, keeping manuscripts and knowledge hidden is always beneficial to the government because the government can control people easier because they do not have the knowledge they have. On his own, Equality is able to make the light bulb. He then goes and brings it to the House of Scholars, ready to share his new invention. They scorn at him and say: "What is not thought by all men cannot be true," and "What is not done collectively cannot be good" (Rand 73). He here shows that he believes in objectivism and individuality in a world that is strongly collectivist. The light bulb’s light seems to represent knowledge in a dimmed world. Equality's own ideas show the barriers of Collectivism to humanity because own is unable to have their own thoughts and ideas.
Collectivism also hinders love and freedom of choice. Equality dares to go against his country's laws by showing love and loyalty to the Golden One. This shows he stands out in the dim world; he is able to have his own opinion by favoring some people over others. He, in his mind, changes her name from Liberty 5-3000 to the Golden One. This is a sin he says because he is favoring one man over another. "But we think of one among women, they whose name is Liberty 5-3000, and we think of no others" (Rand 38). The Council made a law that men were not allowed to be in a relationship and only are paired up with someone through the government's ruling. He first smiles at her and then goes even farther to talk to her. Equality tells her that she is beautiful and...

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