Ayn Rand's Anthem and Equality

Topics: Garden of Eden, Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve Pages: 3 (713 words) Published: October 5, 2014
Kimberly Shliff
J. Pauley
Honors Grammar, Period 6
18 March 2013
Equality and the Garden of Eden
In Ayn Rand’s novella Anthem, Rand describes an individual living in a society that excludes a single person’s worth and stresses the idea that self-reference is wrong. In the biblical telling of “Genesis,” Adam and Eve are placed in the Garden of Eden with only each other as company. Rather than a society that forbids self-awareness, they are not even given the ability to think of themselves. They are not even aware that they are naked. Both societies also see intelligence as a sin. Adam and Equality are both condemned for these “sins” and punished. The two characters show similar qualities. Adam and Equality are condemned for the sins of self-reference and intelligence but come about the actions through very different ways.

Both stories imply that “sins” are committed by Adam and Eve and Equality 7-2521. Two prominent acts are self-reference and intelligence. In the biblical story of “Genesis,” Adam and Eve are created and sent to the Garden of Eden, which is a faultless place. They are immediately forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and bad. A serpent offers them the fruit and convinces them that they will not die but “God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” showing that God wants to keep the two from learning anything, and he basically strips any potential from them (Gen 3:5). In Equality’s society, the smartest men are pushed aside to become street sweepers and are punished for doing well in their lessons. Equality describes how “this is a great sin. To be born with a head which is too quick” proving that the society believes that intelligence is a danger (Rand 16). The leaders are keeping the most intelligent men from showing their own latent.

Another act deemed a “sin” in both societies is self-awareness. Equality 7-2521 is forbidden from even thinking about what...

Cited: Rand, Ayn. Anthem. New York: Signet, 1946. Print. (16, 66-67)
The NIV Study Bible. Ed. Grand Rapids, MI, 1983. Print. (Gen 3:5, 3:7)
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