Art is often used to point out flaws in society and what effect those flaws will have if they go unchecked. Two such works are Ayn Rand’s novella Anthem and Michael Bay’s science fiction film The Island .Although these two works have varying settings, plot-lines, and styles, they both serve to develop the same point. Anthem and The Island both use the dystopian genre to stress the importance of the individual.
The value of the individual is squandered by the antagonist authority figures in both Anthem and The Island. By showing the disastrous results of doing as such, they demonstrate how important it is to promote the individual. For example, in Anthem, the government discourages individual thoughts, which are often the fuel for progress. The government believes that “We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE, One, indivisible, and forever” (Rand 19). Individual innovation is the driver of progress, and, when inhibited, new ideas become lost. This is shown by the Council of Elders saying that “What is not thought by all men cannot be true… What is not done collectively cannot be good” (73), thus shooting down Equality’s innovation.
In The Island, there is much technology, which is the basis of the plot, but there is irony in that all that technology, which is used to lessen the value of the individual, was developed by individual thoughts and ideas. In Anthem, however, there is very little technology, which shows the low value of the individual. Technology, which is often developed by an individual, is usually of great benefit to all of society. However, technology is sometimes used for unjust causes. In The Island, for example, even though the technology is used to help individuals, it does so at the expense of other individuals. While one group is treated with great respect and get all of the benefits of the technology – those who pay to be cloned – the other group – the clones themselves – is treated very...
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