The Light that is Individualism

Essay by smyth616High School, 10th gradeA-, January 2009

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There are certain characteristics that all humans must be allowed to express in order for them to function properly. One of these is the freedom to act as an individual to improve their own lives. The book Anthem, by Ayn Rand, tells a story of a populous that are not allowed to express this essential part of life. They have been forced into a life of obedience, monotony, and despair through ignorance. Only a select few have the knowledge to stand up to the government and fight for their independence. Some, like Equality 7-2521, do not literally fight against the oppression, but find ways to disobey the rules secretly and try to convince others to join the cause. Others; however, fight directly by disobeying in the open and pay the ultimate price, death. The majority will not stand up and act as individuals because they have been thought to think otherwise.

In the book the populous have been brainwashed at a young age to think that the word “we” is much more important than the word “I”.

The motto of the community that Anthem portrays is: “We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE. One, indivisible and forever.” This sets the scene for the way the community runs. Nobody is allowed to be different from their fellow brethren as the opening scene in the book says: “It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon paper no others are allowed to see. It is base and evil.” This shows the ideas that the people in Anthem believe to be true. They think that they are committing great sins for thinking differently than everyone else.