Sunday, August 31, 2014

Question Commander - Giulia Di Bella

(Week 2)

  1. So far, what has been the most outstanding theme in this book?

For me, the most outstanding theme in this book, has been "equality". Everyone in this book has been and will probably forever be equal and they are all okay with that. Another question I had, which is involved with this topic was: How can they live, knowing that they are just the same copy of hundreds and thousands of other people, just like them. And as if this is not the worse part, when people are a little different from what they call, "normal", they are considered a sin, and are seen as the-cursed-ones or the non-equal-to-their-brothers. To be different, in this community, is basically a flaw. A mutation in a human being. Even something that you can't have control over in your body, like your height or your appearance, if it's different than the "normal", it's a curse, it's wrong, it's different.

  1.   Why can't one sing whenever they wish, set aside in the Social Meetings?

    I believe that these people are not allowed to show inside emotions because then, it could be a sign or difference. All they want in indifference, so if someones starts expressing themselves in a happy manner, while the other wants to mourn for the loss of someone, then that would show a dis-equality because while one is super happy and fortunate, the other is feeling down and unfortunate, which is completely, "unfair". So in the moment that Equality felt like singing his joy out, if he did so, he knew he would be committing another transgression. Ignoring that fact, he did so, which was very brave of his part. Just one thing I still have doubts on, is that, what do they have the Social Meetings for, if they could just do what they felt like, everyday? Do they just want people to express their feelings once in a while? Do they want their people to never express their feelings only when it's dangerously needed? Do they want their people to hold back their feelings so that everyone is equal outside, but completely different on the inside? I am not sure of which of these to chose between, but I am certainly sure, the final answer involves  a bit of all of them combined together. 

  1. Why does Liberty call Equality "The Unconquered" in her thoughts?

    I believe, that Liberty calls Equality "Unconquered" because, he is not conquered by the beliefs of this society. In other words, he has a mind of his own, and does not accept to be pushed around by what other people think in right for him, for them, for everyone. This name fits perfectly Equality because it shows that he's not just a slave to the society like all his other "brothers" that are all the same, that are indifferent. He dares to have his own opinions and is not afraid of doing so. He is free to his thoughts and has probably the courage to spit them out when he has the chance to. He in not conquered by anyone and Liberty could not have chosen a better name to give to him, in my opinion.

    (He is an outstanding person. Free, independent, and different.)


  1. Giulia, I like your questions and your answers helped me understand the book better. I think what you said about them being equal forever is not true. I predict that in the end, something will happen and people will stop being equal all the time. Also, when you used the word mutation I thought about the X-Men and how the mutants live in the same society as the humans but are not treated equally, even though they are part human. Moving on, you asked in your answer for question two: What do they have the Social Meetings for, if they could just do what they felt like (or sing), everyday? I believe the singing they do in the Social Meetings is a special song like an anthem or something similar. I also liked your answer for your last question very much. I had thought that Liberty called Equality The Unconquered because she hadn't conquered him, not because society hadn't. Nice post!

  2. The theme of this work is relatively simple and has two parts. When the individual ("I") is absorbed into the collective ("we"), men degenerate into mindless, uncreative, and uninspired automatons who do nothing but live to work and die young and exhausted. However, the spirit of freedom and individuality lives on even in such a world, and a rare man will survive the oppression of the collective to create, think, dream, and love. Which I believe in Equality 7-2521.

    I am sure you also noticed that throughout Anthem, Rand describes the daily City Council meetings in the format of church services. Even the word Anthem itself has a religious connection. I feel that Rand chose to describe the story like this for the hope of replacing God with an the view of man. Indeed, the book is about the individual human being who realizes his individualism. So this goes back to the theme individualism. I feel this theme is very important because if I read clearly in most post and comments we always bring it back to the idea of individualism.

    1. Isabel, firstly, I agreed with everything you said. The first thing I thought was very cool that you mentioned was in the first sentence. Everyone knows this, but you just cleared it out for the ones that were not so sure, like me. The theme of this book does have only two part and I liked how you explained them clearly.
      Another thing I saw that was very creative of your part to think of, was when you said that these people die young. Right away a question popped into my head. Why do the people how live in this community, die young? Wasn't this suppose to be a, in terms of living, better place? I thought that could bring a discussing a long, so good one. And lastly, I liked how you mentioned about the author and how he describes the city as, in a way, religious. The thing I thought that pushed my thinking forward, was when you said that Anthem itself, has already a religious connection. That, I thought was also very great.
      In the end, I thought that you were absolutely right, about all ideas always leading back to the same theme: individualism.
      Isabel, your post really helped my thinking move forward, but in a more clear and more insightful way. You cleared the path for the audience in your comment. You said things that people knew, but didn't think about, so great job. Congrats!

  3. Giulia,
    I found your second question very interesting. I think that it is possible that they do not want people to sing except at the social meetings because if somebody is better than the others it will stand out less in a group. If everyone sings the same song as Alicia thinks they might then one fantastic voice will be very easily lost in the noise. I think that this connects back to your first question a little when you were talking about equality. I think that they do not want to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of people because if they do somebody may have a strength that is not very useful in their work environment while others may have a more useful strength. So I suppose that in a way the council is trying to protect the feelings of it's citizens by making sure that their people never feel inferior to others. I am not quite sure if I think that this is a good thing because it is never nice to feel inferior, but at the same time feeling inferior can motivate you to do better. In your opinion, which is it? Is having your feelings constantly good or bad?
    Another thing that I found interesting that you mentioned in question number three is the thing about the society not conquering Equality's mind. I have to wonder if ,in a way, the society has conquered Equality's mind. Equality is constantly seeking the approval of the society and seems to agree with them, at least early on in the story. I think that maybe they have conquered his mind but in a different way that they conquered the minds of his brothers. I think that his hold to the society is weaker than that of his brothers and it is only a question of when they will do something despicable enough that they break his trust in them once and for all and he leaves the community. As Isabel said one of the themes in the book is individualism and I think that it is just a question of when this theme will become more prominent and Equality will become an individual.