Anthem Literary Analysis
Prompt: In the final chapter of Anthem, Prometheus writes that he now understands “why the best in me had been my sins and my transgressions; and why I had never felt guilt in my sins. ” What has Prometheus come to understand about himself? Why does his society regard the “best in him” as sinful? “It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon paper no others see. ” “It is a sin write this. ” So begins Ayn Rand’s Anthem, a dystopian novella convening the life of Equality7-2521, The Unconquered, Prometheus. In the society one must not think alone, speak alone, act alone, one must not exist alone.
For, this is not right, “We,” is right. “We” can exist in society and thrive! Save, Equality7-2521, who wrote his inherent thoughts for only himself to see, “it was a sin to write this. ” Rand illustrates a motif of conformity through dystopian diction in Anthem, which creates a tone of fear and foreshadows an impending revolution, which reveals the importance of individuality for one to be happy. Equality7-2521 was taught that he was a sin from a young age, “There is evil in your bones, Equality7-2521, for your body has grown beyond the bodies of your brothers” (18).
Anthem Literary Analysis Essay Example
He was different from his brothers and to be different was to stand out, to stand out was to be an individual. Equality7-2521 believed he was born with a curse; to have thoughts which are forbidden was a burden, but his curiosity overcame the power of conformity. He found a place where he studied science, and conducted experiments; he wished to be a scholar, which was also a sin, for the great transgression of preference was forbidden. The Council of Vocations knew where everyone was needed by their brothers. Equality7-2521 had an individual thought process; he was unique, save his white tunic.
As he progressed in his experiments in the underground tunnel Equality7-2521 discovers light in the glass box. For the first time he is not fearful of his transgressions against society, the box of light mattered, his discovery was important; he mattered, and for the first time, Equality7-2521 felt pride. However, the World Council of Scholars did not feel the same, “How dared you, Gutter Cleaner to hold yourself as one alone and with thoughts of the one and not of the many?
As Equality7-2521 heard these words he made his most important discovery, a thriving community was not one of collectivism, but individuality. As he makes this discovery Equality7-2521 breaks from the conformity and is fearful as he runs to the Uncharted Forest, but as the days go on he becomes unfearful, for he can do as he pleases when he pleases. Soon Liberty5-3000 meets him and the two go on to finding a house together. When Equality7-2521 and Liberty5-3000 find their house, and the books, he begins to read about Prometheus, who brought light when there was darkness. Equality7-2521 realizes that his mind, thoughts, discoveries and actions; his sins, brought light when there was darkness to himself, and Liberty5-3000.
He renames her Gaea, the goddess of earth and renames himself Prometheus, for their lives are paralleled defying the conventions of their time. The Society that Prometheus escaped regarded his greatest achievements as sin because they are unique and individual. “What is not done collectively cannot be good” (73). But Prometheus knew the box with light was good, and he was good. He sees through the shapeless society, and defines his happiness with the discovery of “I. ” “I am. I think. I will. My hands…My spirit…” (94) exclaims Prometheus at the discovery of “I.
The once regretful Equality7-2521 who believed it a sin to write his thoughts weeps in pity for mankind as they are blind to egoism. He realizes the best in him as sinful because his sins lead him to the life he has, where he is the center of his own universe, free to love the Golden One, free to his own thoughts. The hero Prometheus is able to break the grasp of conformity through his devotion to happiness, overcoming his fears, and finally through his recognition of the existence of individuality. The once fearful Prometheus breaks from the conformity of the dystopian society and finds his own happiness in ego.
He comes to understand himself as an individual through his discoveries, and feels pride which allows him to breach the conformity and be unique. The Equality7-2521 who opened the novella was regretful and willing to accept the fate the Council of Vocations assigned him, but the Prometheus who ended was reaching for his own destiny. The Greek God brought fire to the world, and though punished the light never left. Prometheus was ready to create his own life where the power of his knowledge shined brilliantly.