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Objectivism In Ayn Rand's Anthem Essay

1334 words - 6 pages

In Ayn Rand’s famous, or in some circles, infamous, story Anthem, the differing ideologies of objectivism and collectivism are pit against each other. With objectivism being so tight knit and different from the society in the book, it seems that it would be almost impossible to truly follow in its entirety. However, Anthem, as a whole, doesn’t violate the ideals of Rand’s philosophy of objectivism.
In the beginning of the novella, the reader is introduced to a collectivist society that rose up after a era dubbed the “Unmentionable Times” where it is assumed there was great destruction that caused the fear of new society. This society rejects individual ideals, differences, choices, and ...view middle of the document...

” This compares him to the electric light, which can’t be put out from a mere breath, just like he didn’t like a weak jail cell keep him locked up. The electric light also seemingly burns on it’s own, just like Equality thinks for himself, while the candle eats up the fuel of wick visibly and melts the wax until it reaches the end and burns out. The society is a weak and simple candle, where it was produced at a slow pace and will be replaced a slow pace with all of the minds hindering advancement. The electric light came about quickly, through an individual, which shows the good of the individual and bad of the society. The collectivist society completely upholds the ideals of objectivism by being as not ideal as possible.
Near the end of the book, there is massive and distinguishable change in not just the narrator, but also the diction that is used. Equality stops using the plural first person words in favor of the singular ones, “I”, “me”, and “mine”. This solidifies his shift in philosophy. Throughout his time in the forest, how he sees himself and how he sees his society were building up to a turning point. As evidenced by his feelings toward his damnation, “And suddenly, for the first time this day, we remembered that we were the Damned. We remembered it, and we laughed,” Equality is now seeing his old society values and ways as mockable. Finally, he discovered the house left over from the Unmentionable Times, which is full of electronic objects, colors, and books that give new information to Equality. It is from these books he learns the Unspeakable words and understand what they are. He discovers they are exactly what he is looking for, and these new words finally allow his to fully realize who he is an individual and what he wants. His thoughts state, “What must I say? This is the answer,” which refers to him being an individual. Chapter 11 of the book is entirely devoted to explaining the answer to everything he has been feeling and questioning in the book, leading to the answer, which Equality believes to be himself, “Whatever road I take, the guiding star is within me; the guiding star and the lodestone which point the way. They point in but one direction. They point to me.” Objectivism focuses on the importance of the self away from the whole of people. In this chapter, Equality rejects the beliefs he’s held his entire life, “For the word ‘We’ must never be spoken, save by one’s choice and as a second thought.” He doesn’t want to live for anybody but himself, owe anybody anything, and this is his freedom. He knows that he is able to great things because he has talent and the ability, and nobody is going to tell him those are...

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