Within the pages of Ayn Rand’s novel, Anthem, a government which resembles a dictatorship is exhibited. Both the leaders and the society itself seek to control mans body and mind as they follow ideals similar to that of a communist party. The leaders and society in Anthem seek to control mans mind using tactics such as collectivism and suppression of the past to accomplish a tyrannical end.
The practices of a collective society such as the one in this book disregard all belief in the individual. By doing this, the society and its leaders brainwash the people into having no personal priority or authority. Everything is done with the betterment of the entire group in mind, no sense of self involvement. Their life is fated in almost every aspect as they cannot even choose their own occupation. “So we waited our turn in the great hall and then we heard the Council of Vocations call our name: ‘Equality 7-2521’” described Equality (26). He continued, “the lips of the oldest did not move as they said: ‘Street Sweeper’” (26). In taking away all individuality, words such as I and my were also lost. Equality continuously refers to himself as “we” because “I” does not exist. The use of “we” is so integral to the collective ways of the society that over the portals of the Palace of the World Council, cut in marble it says, “We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE, one, indivisible and forever” (19). Not even people are referred to in singular tenses as that expresses individuality.
Another thing that truly characterizes a person is their own name. The names in the novel almost resemble our social security numbers today. They remove all meaning or independence as each name is followed by a number. For example, the number in the name Equality 7-2521 is the number of other Equality’s that there have been. By removing all personality which names generally carry, the people become just another number, one in many, never unique. Appearing or...
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