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Ayn Rand's Anthem And Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451

1129 words - 5 pages

Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated that, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Emerson’s words parallel with the words of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Ayn Rand’s Anthem as they each depict a society that is in ruins because the people within are not achieving that “greatest accomplishment.” In Anthem, Rand paints the reader a picture of a society where only one man has the idea of individuality, among so many other machine-like people, constantly doing their work because a detached government told them to. Meanwhile, in Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury portrays a society where there are only a few remnants of hope left, only a few individual people. These are people that memorize books so that they may keep human ingenuity going, a hope for a future generation. Although Anthem and Fahrenheit 451 both tell us how we must keep and expand our individuality, Rand uses a much darker, hopeless society through her characters and lack of advancements in technology while Bradbury gives a glimpse at a technology- obsessed society with some dwindling sparks of hope left in a few characters.

The people within Ayn Rand’s Anthem seem to have a disconnected, dead sense to them, as if they are just machines, lifelessly progressing through a dull existence while a few of Bradbury’s characters have real life within them, a spirit of rebellion and personality disparity between them and all others. Ayn Rand warns the reader about conformity when she includes, “we raised our right arms, and we said all together with the three Teachers at the head: ‘We are nothing. Mankind is all’” (2 Rand). Here we see the parallel of the forces of Hitler in WWII, all the forces joining together as one machine, which tells the reader what a society that forces people to conform will eventually look like if it continues. At the same time, Bradbury gives the hope into the world through Montag, when he realises for himself, “We need to be really bothered once and a while. How long has it been since you’ve been really bothered? About something important, about something real?” (25 Bradbury). We are being told that without being bothered, interested, intrigued about something important and worthwhile every so often we will reach a point where we are living our lives without really living them. In Anthem, we see that only one man finds, and finally speaks out his discovery, saying, “The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who will seek them” (52 Rand). Equality notices that all that exists has not been discovered yet, and should be, but it doesn’t have to be a collective effort. Yet Bradbury’s characters already know that information and discovery can be individual, as we see when Granger warns, “Walk carefully. Guard your health. If anything should happen to Harris, you are the book of Ecclesiastes” (70 Bradbury). Granger understands that not all men must know everything, but mankind...

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