Meaning Of Slavery Essay

1062 words - 4 pages

As a teenager, I have come across recent discoveries of myself and the world, the thirst to gain more knowledge, new responsibilities, and orders from elders. It is the overwhelming combination of these things that occasionally hit me with the feeling of being enslaved, chained to the world, my home, and my family. These expectations and dictations are restrictions, but they do not represent true slavery. True slavery controls every aspect of a man; the dictator must enslave the man’s body and destroy his mind. This effort to completely subdue humanity is exemplified by the leaders and society of Ayn Rand’s Anthem. In this novel, the leaders try to suppress the actions, emotions, and thoughts of the people in an attempt to destroy both mind and body.
Anyone can instruct another person to act in a certain way, but a dictator forces action upon others making it impossible to follow one’s passion. The leaders in Anthem governed the citizens’ lives; they gave each person a job and selected his or her mates. Equality 7-2521, the main character of the novel, wanted to grow in his knowledge of the earth and the Scholars’ inventions. In order to do this, Equality needed to become a Scholar himself. His life’s work depended on his vocation assignment, for in his society, “You shall do that which the Council of Vocations shall prescribe for you” (pg. 22). When the Council of Vocations declared him as a Street Sweeper, it prohibited him to study science and to create inventions. Equality loved the “Science of Things”, but he was unable to follow his passion because of the law (pg. 23-26). The leaders of this world controlled the mating process too. Producing offspring can only be done at one time, the “Time of Mating”. “This is the time each spring when all the men older than twenty and all the women older than eighteen are sent for one night to the City Palace of Mating. And each of the men have one of the women assigned to them by the Council of Eugenics.” Equality was sent to the City Palace of Mating two times, and was told that men could not think about women except for during the Time of Mating (pg. 41). This law delayed the conversations between Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000, a woman assigned to the Home of the Peasants. The laws of vocation and the laws of mating block the people of the City from executing actions that are needed to achieve their desires.
The laws dealing with vocation and mating not only suppress actions but also constrict emotions. The want for a woman and the passion for a specific type of work, are known as “Preferences” in the City. It is a “Transgression” to prefer one thing over another (pg.22). It is a transgression that Equality commits; he loves both Liberty 5-3000 and science (pg. 22/41). Equality wrote that “We wish nothing, save to be alone and to learn, and to feel as if with each day our sight were growing sharper than the hawk’s and clearer than rock crystal” (pg....

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