Anthem Essay

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One of the first to both elevate and criticize humanity for being human, Ayn Rand utilized her first published work, Anthem, to communicate both the world she knew, the world she wanted to know, and finally, the world she foresaw. Anthem is unorthodox to say the least, in both structure and theme with the potential to be interpreted in numerous ways. In this assignment I will attempt to draw lines and establish parallels between Equality 7-2521’s world and our own, referencing both Rand’s and my own commentary, with the ultimate goal of achieving my own sense of identity in the maelstrom that is Rand’s philosophy. “We are learning to doubt,” (86) stated Equality as he fled his collectivist imprisonment in order to find himself in the “Uncharted Forest.” A man that had not before his trek into the wilderness seen his own reflection, a man who lived twenty-one years mentally, socially, economically, and practically physically sterile, a man who did not even consider himself a man, but instead one insignificant part of a greater whole; that was the existence of Equality. He was not only stripped of his freedom, but the very perception of what freedom is was taken from him, subjected to ignorance. It is only in his solitude where Rand grants him the human gift of ingenuity in order depict a sort of “great awakening” when one chooses to individualize oneself. Rand establishes contrast between pre-forest and post-forest Equality by displaying his development from a naive and immature drone playing in an old tunnel to an adventurous, freethinking survivor. The prowess exemplified by Equality upon entering the forest is more than I would expect from most people today as Rand is quoted saying “I worship individuals for their highest possibilities as individuals, and I loathe humanity, for its failure to live up to these possibilities.” The overall disappointment that Rand

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