The Bet and Anthem

Topics: Ayn Rand, Solitary confinement, Man Pages: 5 (1750 words) Published: October 28, 2013

Anton Chekhov was born in Russia in 1860. He originally published his short story, “The Bet,” in 1889. Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, and playwright born in 1905. She published her novel, “Anthem,” in 1938. Both stories explore the reasoning of the human beings and the importance of the individual within society. Both texts have a plethora tones, imagery and a theme that builds up that dwelling of the understanding of the individual. The tones in both stories contribute to the building of the particular styles of the authors. Through “Anthem” a certain monotonous tone is shown at first; depicting the uniformity of the world Equality lives in. It can be noted how Equality mentions “for we are not like our brothers.”1 First, the constant repetition of the “we” is noted as in Equality’s world the individual is not seen apart from the collective. Also this shows the monotonous tone through Anthem that Rand present as it shows that everyone is equal, differences are not allowed between “brothers” in the society. Equality shares his daily routine with the readers and mentions how “we go to our beds and we sleep, till the bell rings again.”2 This builds up the monotonous tone as it is seen that they are not allowed to diverge from this schedule and notes how they are all controlled to perform as established. This monotony, however, is broken as Equality reaches the World Council of the Scholars. As he shows them the light “they stood pressed against the wall, huddled together, seeking the warmth of one another's bodies to give them courage.”3 Although they are the most praised individuals in society, it can be noted that they are scared of anything different from the monotonous regime established by the society. This fear of the unknown that his group of people depicts contributes to the monotonous tone presented in “Anthem.” Finally a tone of serenity is noted as Equality finds his house with Liberty after escaping to the Uncharted Forrest. Equality mentions “never had we seen rooms so full of light.”4 This light, which symbolizes enlightenment and a new beginning for Equality, contributes to a new serene tone as Equality embarks in a new understanding of the importance of individual in society. Furthermore, a monotonous tone can also be seen throughout “The Bet.” As the young man and the banker settle the conditions of their bet, which would last fifteen years, it is clearly mentioned how “the agreement provided for every detail and every trifle that would make his imprisonment strictly solitary”5. The young man convicting himself to spending fifteen years in a cabin is shown to have little interactions in his life. This contributes to the monotonous tone of the story as it builds up his long and strained confinement, just as the tone presented in “Anthem” contributes to the uniformity of Equality’s life. Moreover, it is also noted, how after years of solitary confinement he was seen to spend “all that year he spent doing nothing but eating and drinking and lying on his bed, frequently yawning and angrily talking to himself.”6 The monotony expressed by the hyperbole of him doing “nothing but” eating and drinking builds up this repetitive tone as the young man deals with being apart from society. As his solitary confinement progresses his fixation with reading becomes greater. The narrator mentions “the prisoner sat immovably at the table and read nothing but the Gospel.”7 The utilization of the word “immovably” contributes to the tone as it proves that the prisoner fixated on learning from texts and did little in his cell. As years go by, it is again noted how time went by “the prisoner did not once stir”8 building up the previously state uniformity of his imprisonment. Finally, however, as he is freed from the material aspects of society, the prisoner is enlightened. In his final note to his jailer he emphasizes how he marvels “at you who exchange heaven for earth.”9 As he compares his current state...
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