Individuality In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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“Learned helplessness is the giving-up reaction, the quitting response that follows from the belief that whatever you do doesn't matter.” Spoken once by Arnold Schwarzenegger, when one finds that no matter what they do cannot possibly have an effect on anything, learned helplessness becomes increasingly revealing in that their changing personality. Helplessness is a clear characteristic displayed by all citizens subordinate to the World Council in Anthem. Anthem is a dystopian fiction novel by Ayn Rand. This novel takes place in an unspecified time when mankind enters a dark age, collectivism is most prominent, and the concept of individuality is eliminated. In Anthem, Rand uses plurality in pronoun use, religious connotation, and irony in…show more content…
Conformity, by definition, is an action in correspondence with current customs, rules, or styles. Since the concept of individuality is virtually eliminated in the city displayed in Anthem, its government can freely force its collectivist ideals on all its subjects, who now conform fully to it. Singular and possessive pronoun use (modern-day “I”, “you”, “My”) are avoided in this society to abstain from the idea of self-reflection. In introducing himself, Equality alleges “Our [My] name is Equality 7-252; we [I] are 21 years old”. This manifests the fact that he fails to truly recognize himself as one rather than a communal “whole”. By being vulnerable in identity, it leaves a “gap” for the government to fill. In Anthem, the World Council has even found a way to make its citizens be reminded every day about the importance of their conformity. Every night, all must repeat simultaneously how “We are [I am] nothing. Mankind is all” before going to sleep. It is critical to understand that by doing this, it only reinforces what they have been taught their whole lives: submission. The nature of their mentality has been shaped, in almost every aspect, by the status quo of their community. Though no religion is existent in the city, the only truly religious force they know is the collectivist lifestyle they regretfully sank
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