Anthem By Ayn Rand Essay

924 words - 4 pages

Ayn Rand’s novella Anthem begins with Equality 7-2521, or as he is later known Prometheus, stating, “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…and we know that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone” (17). Prometheus lives in what is known as a totalitarian society. In many totalitarian societies, the ability to express oneself is often forbidden and suppressed. This novella contains a society which represents extreme totalitarianism. The rulers of the society, have managed to convince the citizens that selflessness, as well as worship of the word “we”, is the only way to live.
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According to his society, Prometheus’ greatest transgression is the need within him to understand everything. He comes to understand that the “best in him” is the part of him that yearns to achieve what has never been achieved before; the part that wants to break away from the chains of his society. His society regards this, and his internal curiosity, as sinful. The citizens in his society move as one, never questioning the rules of the government and doing what is expected of them. Prometheus is the only one in his society that dares to think and act differently.
His sins and transgressions include the Transgression of Preference, wondering about the Unmentionable Times, and attempting to rediscover the Unspeakable Word. The Transgression of Preference occurs when one favors a person or activity based on independent judgment. Prometheus mentions this transgression many times. The first time he mentions it, he is confessing that he loved the Science of Things more than any other subject, asking so many questions that the teacher forbade it. He then goes on to say that above all things, he wished to be sent to the Home of the Scholars. Unfortunately, when it is time for him to receive his job, he is sent to the Home of the Street Sweepers; this was done by the leaders in an effort to diminish the flame that burned brightly in his eyes.
The transgression is mentioned once again when Liberty 5-3000 is introduced. Prometheus’ society was so controlling, that it determined who would mate with who, doing it in such a way that it was purely physical and not emotional. Once again, unlike the people in his society, Prometheus dared...

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