While reading Anthem, I have come to keep connecting back to the novel "The Handmaid's Tale" The two novels, The Handmaid's Tale and Anthem, are both first person tales of personal hardship in a closed and controlled society. The main similarity would be between the two societies in which the stories take place in, as well as the main differences being between the main characters.
To start I would like to compare the settings of the two books. In Anthem the story takes place sometime in the future after some event in the past. Apparently society as we know it was destroyed and the leaders that were left decided that the problem was the individual, that all men are equal in all things and that anything that is created by one person is evil. This train of thought is carried to such and extreme that the very word "I" is removed from their vocabulary and became "we". An example of this is found when the main character, Equality-1329, re-invents the electric light. He shows his invention to the Scholars and although this invention could improve the quality of life of the people it is deemed "evil" because he worked on his project alone. The society in this book is also strict and authoritarian to the point of dictating what your job will be, to whom you will have children with.
In The Handmaid's Tale the story takes place sometime in the near future after some kind environmental catastrophe that makes it impossible for most women to have children. To solve this problem some radicals set off a nuclear bomb in Washington during a full session of congress and then declare marshal law. They then systematically took all rights away from women and forced the ones that could have children into camps where they would be contracted out to powerful ranking officials to have their children. These women are referred too as "handmaids."
Following, I would like to discuss the main characters, in The Handmaid's Tale and in Anthem. In the books the main characters are basically nameless people. In The Handmaid's Tale us, the readers never learn the names of the main character, because she refers to herself as "I" and others in the book refer her as the handmaid. In Anthem the main character does not have he word "I" in this vocabulary so he ether refers himself as Equality 7-2521 or as "we"
Moving on, Equality 7-2521 is "beautiful" (how he described himself" and had the brain. In Handmaid's Tale the main character is a woman is attractive (because men have an interest in her thought the book) and she is also smart. However these to characteristics doesn't change the fact that their personality's are very different. I believe that in Anthem the main character is pro-active, he sees that there are problems with the society and he wants to change it, improve it. He even goes and re-events electric light. He shows this to the Scholars, but when they reject his idea he realize that he changed the way he thinks of the society. Next, the main character in The Handmaid's Tale is less pro-active person who think she knows that her society is flawed, and she tells the reader that she does not like her life yet she does nothing about it.
Overall both characters live in a similar controlling socialites.