Sunday, October 26, 2014

Illustrious Artist- Gaetano Cremoux

I decided to illustrate the section in which  Equality 7-2521 talks about mirrors, and how he wishes to see himself in one. I thought that this was one of the most important parts in this book so far. This seen displays most of the main ideas of this novel, or at least so far. It demonstrates two main themes of this book: Sameness, and "unknown identity". Sameness has been introduced before, and we have seen how it is used by the government to manipulate the people. If you really think about it, all of these themes are very similar/ related. Because of sameness, there is a lack of identity and individuality. I think that without individuality, you cannot have identity, as identity requires uniqueness. You can see this in the book, since everyone is the same. Because of this,  Equality 7-2521, and everyone else, lacks individuality. This is why they have no identity. However, this is not the only factor in determining the lack of identity for the "individuals" in this book. Another main component is the lack of mirrors. Almost everyone in modern society identifies themselves with how they look. Without knowing your appearance, or having distinct character traits, how can anyone have any identity whatsoever?

Now that we have established the lack of identity, we need to find out why. I think that the government eliminates individuality to manipulate and control the population. They do this so that the masses become like robots, and they then make the rules very strict so that the robots do their bidding. It seems as if they aim to create robots who, by creating harsh and specific laws, simply live by their rules. In these ways, this book seems EXTREMELY similar to 1984. One thing that I find fascinating is how Equality 7-2521, for some reason, does not conform to the norms set by society. For SOME reason, he rebels. I thinks it's interesting how there is distinction between the conformed and uncomformed, and what causes that. Do you think its because of genes/ biology? Or do you think it more than that, something that has to do with how this society functions? 

Another fascinating aspect of this section is really interesting to dwell into is Rand motive for describing the section like she did. To understand more about Rands childhood, we need to learn a bit more about her.

Ayn was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on February 2, 1905. Her father was a successful pharmacist who owned a pharmacy. By the age of 8, Ayn was already writing screenplays. By 10, she had written her first novel. During the Russian Revolution, her family fled to the Crimean Peninsula. There, they lived in poverty, where they faced desperate conditions. At 16, Ayn was one of the first woman to enroll in University, where she majored in History. After graduating, she moved to the US to pursue her screenwriting career. After a couple of unsuccessful pieces, she wrote her first successful novel, The Fountainhead, which opened her path to prominence. After The Fountainhead, she wrote several successful books, most acclaimed Atlas Shrugged. 

To me, this passage makes me think of Rand's childhood in Communist Russia. A lot of what is described in this passage is quite similar to the events that occurred during Rands childhood. For example, the Sameness theme was quite common during in Communist Russia. Back then, the government had a very specific mold that it wanted its citizens to fit in. If they failed to do so, they would be sent to the Gulags; in this book, if you fail to fit into the mold, you are simply exiled. As you can see, Rand was most clearly inspired by her childhood to write this part of the book. 


  1. Gaetano,

    Very excellent image choice. As a coincidence, I had the very, same, exact image idea; although, we did not really talk about the same concepts. As I read your post, I strongly disagreed with something you said about how Equality 7-2521 wanted to see himself in the mirror. I strongly disagree with you because he actually never stated that, but I can see from where you go that conclusion. I think that by the quote "Men never see their own faces and never ask their brothers about it, for it is evil to have concern for their own faces or bodies” got you a bit confused about his idea of his identity. As a matter of fact, this quote explains how Equality 7-2521 thought that seeing your own self was evil, along with many others. You may think that he wants to see himself, yet it is only what your perspective of freedom is. As a result, I would predict that your mind knows that in order to be free, you have to know who your true identity is.

  2. Gaetano,

    I really liked your post and I have to agree with a lot of the things that you had to say throughout it. The connection you made between Equality 7-2521 not being able to look at himself in the mirror and that being because the government would like to control the population was really accurate. I wonder how this type of government and its laws made its way into society, because based on how Rand describes the city being gloomy and such, it doesn't really look like the people are very happy there. That's what I believe is part of Equality 7-2521's mission, to save these people from this socialist environment.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Gaetano,
    I found your post to be full of interesting analyzations and refections, which in turn deepened the level and raised the quality. There's just one thing that we don't seem to agree on. The idea of identity. I believe, that even without physical features, you can still have your identity and ideas that define who you are as a person. Just because you have a face that people can associate to your thoughts/characteristics doesn't mean that what you think, or how you are, is completely invalid if you have no face. Think about a big chat room of people (online) with everybody having no profile picture. Just a blank slate. However, even without seeing the person or how they physically represent themselves (hand gestures, emotions in the face, etc) you can still tie what they say into a web that later turns into that person's personality. Anyways, that's just an idea to chew on. Great post though!