Ayn Rands Anthem Essay Research Paper Subj

Ayn Rands Anthem Essay, Research Paper Subj: sorry bout the color and spacing Date: 3/5/01 10:33:55 PM Eastern Standard Time From: Chocolama8 To: XXALBXX

Ayn Rands Anthem Essay, Research Paper

Subj: sorry bout the color and spacing

Date: 3/5/01 10:33:55 PM Eastern Standard Time

From: Chocolama8


Fear. It oozes from the hearts of every character in Ayn Rand?s Anthem. It is a

fear comparative to that of the thousands of slaves kept by a single master, or the millions

in concentration camps that were maintained by a measly hundred or thousand. It is the

the fear to rebel against an already accepted fate. Once this fear is instilled, it condemns

generation after generation, and unless it is stopped it will be accepted as the only way to

live. Luckily, there are exceptions. Lights at the end of the eternally dark tunnels. Great

thinkers that, under the right circumstances, could expand and reach heights like the great

minds we know today; Albert Einstein, Plato, Malcolm X, Mahatma Ghandi. While

reading about Equality in Anthem, many questions are repeatedly presented. How does the

collectivist society maintain control over its subjects? Where does Equality?s drive to free

himself from collectivism come from? What makes it so easy for him to do so?

The appeal in a collectivist society lies in its seemingly harmless outer beauty.

Ideas like having respect for fellow humans are intensified, thus creating mass appeal.

Once this appeal is instilled it deteriorates, a society is left dragging its weak and stifling

its strong. The strong or intelligent are shunned, and forced to degrade themselves in

order to fit in with their brothers. It is clear that the society is maintained by fear and

ignorance. The people in the novel know no other way of life. The existence of individual

thoughts and ideas has disappeared from their society. These mindless zombies are only

certain that it is evil to think or be alone. Even Equality, the most unique individual in the

dark times, believes it is a sin to be alone until the very end of the novel. Ignorance and

fear shut down the minds of the individuals in the book and enables them to only think

collectively, but few still see the importance of individuality.

The battle Equality faces is basically an internal one. Each new discovery or

realization that comes to him brings on a new conflict. Things that were viewed as evil all

of his life suddenly seem pure and Equality is forced to reinvent his entire way of thinking.

He must conquer the fear and ignorance that engulfs his brothers. Yet, deep within his

soul, his entire life has been a constant search, leading to individuality. Equality always

knew there was something more meaningful for him alone. It seems that throughout the

entire book the word ?I? is on the tip of his tongue. Slowly, but surely, each collectivist

idea is overcome, leaving one man, one soul, and one idea.

Victory was simple yet sweet for Equality. Once away from the rest of society, he

was able to truly discover solidarity. He saw his face. He felt love for only one other

individual, he made his own decisions for his own well being. The discovery of the word

?I? in the books he read was indeed monumental to the plot in the novel, but the feeling

the word induced already existed. He reeked the benefits of being alone, having his own

home, and someone to love, and his own possessions. Once he experienced these things,

the collectivist values that were instilled in him no longer existed. He had his own ego,

which can be smothered and denied, but never expelled from mankind.

In the foreword to Anthem, Ayn Rand writes, ?The greatest guilt today is that of

the people who accept collectivism by moral default; the people who seek protection from

the necessity of taking a stand, by refusing to admit to themselves the nature of that which

they are accepting…? She goes on to give us a novel that embodies these thoughts.

Living in a world like that of Anthem?s would be bitter and cold, without individuality or

creativity. The last resort? Ayn Rand, and others who would be strong enough to be

heroes, just like Equality 7-2521. They are the lights at the ends of the eternally dark

tunnels. They are hope.