Essay on Anthem By Ayn Rand

Topics: Meaning of life, Collectivism, Ayn Rand Pages: 2 (619 words) Published: September 22, 2013

What is the meaning of the word “ego”? The literal meaning of ego is “the concern about one’s own interests”. It implies that one is more important than the collective, and that one is the proper beneficiary of one’s actions. Ayn Rand’s Anthem, tells the story of one man’s rebellion against a collective, totalitarian society. The story is set in the future dark age where the evils of collectivism and irrationality have destroyed the concept of achievement and individuality. The story begins in the distant future where a young man, Equality 7-2521, is writing diary, in a tunnel. He describes his society, where the World Council governs every aspect of life from birth to death. Equality 7-2521 is assigned the job of a street sweeper. His days are filled with routine and drudgery. However, he is a man capable of intellectual achievement and his individuality still lives. He discovers a tunnel from the Unmentionable times, where he rediscovers electricity. He presents his invention to the Council of Scholars. However, they are frightened of it and threaten to destroy it. Equality 7-2521 runs away to the Unchartered Forest, where he is joined by a young girl whom he had earlier fallen in love with. They discover a house from the Unmentionable Times where they discover the ideas that made possible the freedom and prosperity of the past. At first, the protagonist of the novel, Equality 7-2521, regrets his differences and tries to be like all his brothers. He tries halfheartedly to eliminate all his personal preferences. When he discovers the tunnel, he likes to alone and experiment. His preference for International 4-8818 and Golden One makes it harder for him to deny his individuality. The discovery of the light bulb pushes him into complete rebellion against his society. At the end, Equality 7-2521 identifies himself as Prometheus, and understands the meaning of man’s ego. Equality realizes the significance of his own existence only when he understands that the...
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