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Themes In Ayn Rand's Anthem Essay

2171 words - 9 pages

Anthem Themes
“My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose” (Rand, 95). Anthem is written by American author Ayn Rand about Equality 7-2521 on his quest for happiness. The novel is set in an unspecified time and place in the future. Years after human civilization has gone through a deconstruction in which all knowledge was lost and a new society established with no concept of the individual. “The novel describes the efforts of the main character, Equality 7-2521, to reestablish a sense of personal identity and restore the knowledge of the past by objective scientific inquiry. In doing so, he must face many dangers and privations” (Anthem). Anthem is a dairy of the Equality 7-2521 including themes of equality, love, courage, adventure, individuality, and postmodernism.
Ayn Rand was born on February 2, 1905 in Russia. She was twelve years old when the Bolsheivik revolution took place. She also witnessed the early establishment of the Soviet communist state but then moved to United States in 1926. Rand hoped to become a screenplay writer she moved to Hollywood; there she met her husband Frank O’Connor. Rand had her first successful screen play Night of January 16th which led to her first novel We the Living. The next novella Anthem was first published in Great Britain after American publishers rejected Rand’s work. Rand became a well known philosopher and novelist.
All men are equal. “We are nothing. Mankind is all. By the grace of our brothers are we allowed our lives. We exist through, by and for our brothers who are the State” (Rand, 21). Equality is a main theme in Anthem. In this society the word “I” is forbidden. The humans refer to themselves as “we” instead of “I” to represent equality throughout society. Anything that might allow individuals to develop their own identity – whether be a name, a mirror, or “I’ – is suppressed. Children are separated from their parents at birth and attend school until fifteen. After schooling, the Council of Vocations assigns a job to the children; they live in the house according to their job. Each person is on a certain schedule that they have to follow religiously. They live the life that the Council wants them to live not the life they want to live.
“Our name is Equality 7-2521, as it is written on the iron bracelet which all men wear on their left wrists with their names upon it. We are twenty-one years old. We are six feet tall, and this is a burden, for there are not many men who are six feet tall. Ever have the Teachers and the Leaders pointed to us and frowned and said: "There is evil in your bones, Equality 7-2521, for your body has grown beyond the bodies of your brothers." But we cannot change our bones nor our body” (Rand 18).
He is also called The Unconquered One by The Golden One, Liberty 5-3000, and eventually renames himself Prometheus after the gods. Equality 7-2521 is intellectually gifted although he is...

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