Friday, October 17, 2014

Historical Context - Sophia Takahashi

Historical Context

Sophia Takahashi
Rotation #2
Part Three & Part Four
Historical Context

Why was this book controversial? Which themes or ideas were challenging to society?

Anthem is a dystopian novel written by Ayn Rand. This novel completely wipes out individuality, as everything has to be the same. The protagonist, Equality 7-2521 had always felt different.

Controversial - giving rise or likely to give rise to controversy or public disagreement. 

Anthem is controversial. By Ayn Rand deleting individuality from the society, it becomes 'better' in there perspective. By them excluding individuality, they made the world a better place.

We see our world as an utopia compared to Anthem's society. On the other hand, Anthem's society has no war and violence like ours does. Is excluding individuality for the better good?


There are various themes in Anthem. As an dystopian, they ban freedom of being an individual and having an identity. Love is banned from the dystopia. Female and males are not allowed to have feelings for one another, as they are assigned a specific human being as their partner.


Freedom is clearly a challenging theme in Anthem, as the characters in the book don't even have a say in the community. They can not choose there own jobs nor choose to love each other. Further more, as stated on page 45, it is stated; "This was the only thing which moved, for the lips of the oldest did not move as they said "Street Sweeper"." As seen from this quote, the protagonist, Equality  7-2521, has no saying of what job he should be assigned, as all the jobs are chosen by the Elders, with "eyes as cold blue glass buttons" (Rand 46).

More over, Anthem states; "For men are forbidden to take notice of women, and women are forbidden to take notice of men" (Rand 55). As shown, mixed genders can not have feelings for each other, as though it is forbidden. Ayn Rand clearly states this theme, as the dystopia bans freedom completely.

As shown in the picture, freedom in shown in many ways, as freeing from jail. Ayn Rand explains a different type of freedom in Anthem, she explains the freedom of being different and having your own say. None of the protagonists have any say, as everyone was born to be same. 


Characters have no identity in this book. All the characters were born to be a replica of the same human being. The protagonist can not think about happiness, the outside world. They were born to think the same. "Why fit in if you were born to stand out?" - Dr. Seuss. The protagonist had always felt that he was different from his 'brothers and sisters'. For as he couldn't think or anybody, for it was forbidden.


The theme Love is also challenged in Anthem, known as a forbidden emotion to feel. The protagonist, Equality 7-2521 starts to fall in love with Liberty 5-3000. They are the only two people who seem to understand love, but have difficulty expressing it to each other since they hadn't felt it first handedly. 

" [...] for the first time did we know fear, and then pain. And we stood still that we might not spill this pain more precious than pleasure" (Rand 55). 

1 comment:

  1. Sophia, I agreed with all the themes you stated. For the first one freedom, I agree that it is a challenging theme in Anthem. I think it would be very difficult living in this society, and not being able to have a say in anything. Do you think it would be challenging living in this society? The other theme you stated individuality/identity, in this society no one has an identity. Everyone in this society is expected to act the same, dress the same, and thought to look the same. Yes I agree that love is also a challenging theme in Anthem. Love is forbidden in this society, because everyone is supposed to view one another equally. This society that Ayn Rand portrays in this novel, to me is very interesting. What do you think?