Literary Techniques in Anthem

Topics: Ayn Rand, Style, Fiction Pages: 2 (685 words) Published: November 2, 2010
Literary Techniques in Anthem

In the novel Anthem, Ayn Rand's use of diction and figurative language provides readers with an excellent understanding of the style and tone in the novel. The author wrote Anthem in a deliberately simple, serious style to complement the story going on in the novel. It is one that is simple and serious, because of the major conflict, which is that Equality 7-2521 struggles to identify himself in a society that has rejected individualism in favor of collectivism, where an individual has no rights, existing only to serve the state. Throughout the story Anthem, Ayn Rand uses unique style, figurative language, and diction to prove the matter at hand.

The style of the novel is one that is odd and unusual, but very helpful in showing and proving the book's meaning. First off, the reader notices one of the most striking features, the use of a first-person narrative. The author uses the first-person plural "we" and not the first-person singular "I". Rand also uses untypical vocabulary such as "transgression" and "base" in the first paragraph. Anthem takes the form of a secret journal, or diary, letting the reader experience Equality 7-2521's every feeling and thought. Finally, the writer intentionally gave the characters numerical names to represent the collectivism in their society.

There is a lot of figurative language that is used effectively in Anthem. One form of figurative language is personification. One example is used to describe the Council of Vocations, for example, "Their hair was white and their faces were cracked as the day of a dry river bed." This is a good use of personification because in their society everybody is one, and the councils are generalized to demonstrate the unity and lack of individualism. Second, “We blew out the candle. Darkness swallowed us. There was nothing left around us, save night and a thin thread of flame in it, as a crack in the wall of a prison”. This example of figurative...
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