The Discovery Of Knowledge Shall Triumph (Anthem)

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Knowledge has been sought after by Humanity for thousands of years, and it is in this seeking where the act of life is given meaning. Yet when fundamental knowledge begins to become suppressed, great forces in the soul emerge to fight for truth. It is from these conflicts that we can compare the lives of Prometheus and Gaea, found in Ayn Rand's novella Anthem, with those of the Biblical characters found in Genesis of the Bible, Adam and Eve. They are easily comparable in their struggle for knowledge, their intentions of founding new civilizations, and the realization of rebellion inside themselves which both pairs refuses to ignore.

Adam and Eve, along with Prometheus and Gaea, both went through a struggle towards yearning to know what they do not already understand. In the story of Adam and Eve, a snake tricks them into eating from a forbidden fruit tree.

Prometheus and Gaea had searched for their knowledge, finding it by blindly jumping towards what they believed was right. Both pairs acknowledges the evil that they had in the eyes of their given society, yet they refuse to back down, and are punished accordingly. For Adam and Eve, the Bible states, "To the woman he [God] said, "˜I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing"¦ and he [man] will rule over you.' To Adam he said, "˜Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat"¦'" (Genesis 1:16-18) Prometheus and Gaea are punished in much the same way. In Anthem, Ayn Rand writes, "We are doomed. Whatever days are left to us, we shall spend them alone. And we have heard of the corruption"¦ in solitude. We have torn ourselves from the truth which is our brother men, and there is no road back"¦ and no redemption. (Anthem 76) After the two pairs are exiled, both were intent upon founding new civilizations. For Adam and Eve, they had no choice but to create a new civilization after God expelled them from the Garden of Eden. "So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken." (Genesis 1:23) So they build their society from there. For Prometheus and Gaea, they choose to form a new civilization, a civilization free from the horrid grasp of a dominating society. "I [Prometheus] shall live here, in my own house. I shall take my food from the earth by the toil of my own hands"¦ I shall rebuild the achievements of the past"¦" (Anthem 99) He realizes that the only way that he can banish the corrupt society is to start from scratch and build up his new civilization. This is what Prometheus and Gaea realize, while Adam and Eve must start anew to simply save the human race.

Both pairs knew that they were breaking the rules when they broke them. Prometheus and Gaea, for instance, knew that in their society, breaking away and realizing knowledge and searching for that truth was against the law. Yet, ""¦we cannot resist it. It whispers to us that there are great things on this earth, and that we can know them if we try, and that we must know them"¦ We must know that we may know." (Anthem 24) Adam and Eve knew that what they had done was against God's word. Yet they could not pass up a chance for knowledge. Eve, ""¦saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food"¦ and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it." So both couples know of their crimes being committed, yet they continued to move forward for the sake of gaining intelligence.

Adam and Eve, and Prometheus and Gaea have very similar actions and roles in both the Bible and Anthem. They both struggle for knowledge, intend on founding new civilizations, and both realization that they are rebelling, yet they do not, and cannot, let that go unborn. They both struggle very hard, and give up much to receive the gift of knowledge. It was their choice, and only their choice to make, and they both took the same path towards truth, even if it left them in toil.