The Rebels of Society: Gregor Samsa and Equality

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Hicks
Tomko
English 1102
Spring 2012
The Rebels of Society: Gregor Samsa and Equality 7-2521
Gregor Samsa, the protagonist of Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Equality 7-2521 of Ayn Rand’s Anthem both rebel against their individual societies. They are extremely different in that Gregor does not become a rebel by choice, while Equality comes up with a new invention and boldly goes against the social normality of his society. A successful rebel not only should be defiant against their authority, but should also have a set of ideals that they hold to. Gregor’s ideals include caring for his family, working arduously, and making money. Equality’s ideals are revolved around the society’s system of rules which are dominated by the idea of lack of individualism. Rather they are absorbed in the word “we” and collectivism. Gregor’s story is tragic because of his death in the conclusion, while Equality remains alive and builds a new city that will no longer include “we.” Both Equality and Gregor are largely controlled by their rulers. Equality’s ruler is the council which controls every aspect of his life. Gregor’s life is controlled by his manager, who goes to the extreme of checking in on him at his house when he receives the news that Gregor has not caught the five-o’clock train with the errand boy. Also, both Equality and Gregor feel pressure to conform to those that surround them in their lives. As protagonists, Gregor and Equality are brave rebels in their own ways. Although Gregor does not choose to metamorphosis into a bug, he does choose to be courageous in the situation. Equality is the stronger rebel who prizes his new invention of light and stands by his ideas until the conclusion of Anthem.

When we are first introduced to the character of Gregor we realize how engrossed he is in his occupation, as well as pleasing his family. It is obvious that he is unhappy with the manner of his job. He thinks to himself, “what a strenuous career I’ve chosen! Traveling day...
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