"Anthem" by Ayn Rand.

Essay by ali883Junior High, 9th gradeA, May 2003

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Alexandria Maloney


Anthem Essay

In Ayn Rand's Anthem, the author shows a civilization where people lived without personal freedom, living only to serve their state. Men and women exist only to serve their Brothers and do what is expected of them. Although society has crushed all individuality and everyone lives in total collectivism, there is one in this novel who dares to go against society, Prometheus. Prometheus is the hero in this story because he is unique, brave and egoistic.

Prometheus was different from society and was looked down upon by society for being tall, intelligent and handsome. The elders were intolerant of this because all men should be like their brothers and be equal. Prometheus pretended not to be smart when he was younger by purposely trying to forget lines to be like his brothers. In this communist society, there were no signs of individuality. Prometheus went against the rules of society by finding someplace unknown and exploring it secretly.

Prometheus knew that if the elders knew about this place, it would be made forbidden, therefore he explains, "The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who will seek them. We know, for we have found a secret unknown to all our brothers."(52) This act was against his brothers and society, proving that Prometheus wanted to defend his rights of individualism.

Prometheus' bravery was a strong characteristic proven in Anthem. After daring to name a name to a woman he favored, he told her about it, knowing that these thoughts and feelings were strictly forbidden. After one of Prometheus's visits to the forbidden underground place, the Scholars realized that he had been absent from the theater that night. When he refused to tell where he had been, "They...