Saturday, October 25, 2014

Question Commander - Sophia Takahashi

Past, Present or Future?

Sophia Takahashi
Rotation #2
Part 3 - Part 4
Question Commander

As shown in Part Three and Five, Equality 7-2521 discovers electricity and wants to expose his discovery to the World of Scholars. Based on this discovery, is Anthem's plot in the past, present or future?

There is a possibility that Anthem is displayed in the past, present and future. Electricity was not yet discovered in the past, while electricity could have been forgotten in the present and future.

With text evidence from the novel, I have found to find major explanations showing that Anthem is set in the future. As shown as the "Unmentionable Times" in Anthem, it is believably shown as the mistakes human kind had made in the past (the present for us). To the society of Anthem, electricity was shown as a transgression during the Unmentionable Times, and was banned completely from the community.

I predict that Equality 7-2521 will be accused of bringing an object/invention that brought the past in ashes and will be accused of a transgression -- being alone and having individuality on trying to create his own inventions.

What themes can you find based on the context of the book?

You can clearly see the theme of Love in this book, as you can see great affection between Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000. They clearly have feelings for each other, as they see one another as thinking differently and having individualism.

You can see great flaw in the theme of Identity as everyone is the same and that no one has an identity. Everyone is ordered to be the same, and as for Equality 7-2521 has an Identity; he feels different from his 'brothers and sisters'.

Individualism is also shown by specific characters, especially the protagonist and the secondary character. They both expose individualism in a way, by breaking rules and having affection to each other and discovering inventions that should remain undiscovered.

As shown in Anthem, Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000 meet it each other in the fields; are males and females separated in this society?

I do not think males and females are separated in this dystopia but just regularly met. We see males and females everyday, while in this dystopia they might just see each other once or in specific times of the day. As for Liberty 5-3000 and Equality 7-2521 might have a specific job there in the same day, and as they meet each other regularly. By having more frequencies in 'bumping into each other' they become more passionate.


  1. Hi Sophia,
    Great post! I really like your images, especially your fist one, and also your questions. TO begin with, in one of my past blog posts when I was question commander I was also wondering about when the plot in Anthem could have occurred? It is obvious that Ayn Rand doesn't really say this, but she does give some clues, such as the electricity. I would probably say that this would happen in the future. Yet, after reading Ji-Won's blog post today that said that this story could be in the in the Middle Ages, and maybe the "Unmentionable Times" could have been Roman and Greek times. Who knows? What do you think? This also makes me think, what if this book happened in the ages of Christ, and they say the "Unmentionable Times" are before he was born. It is clear to me that a lot can be inferred when talking about the time the book Anthem.

  2. Nice post Sophia! I definitely agree that Anthem's plot could be in the past, present, or future. Because some parts of the book like you explained about electricity that it could have been forgotten. But overall the society to me would make the plot be in the future. Because no one now talks like they do, and lives to rules like them.
    The theme love is definitely in the book like you said, Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000 do have feelings for each other and it is quite obvious in the book.
    Identity is another big theme displayed in Anthem. Everyone is the same, they are suppose to act the same, and talk the same. (First person plural) The people in this society don't even know about the word 'I', which means they don't have an identity.
    What if you had to live in a society like this... Do you think you would like it?

  3. Sophia,

    Excellent post, your questions really made me reflect on my reading! :)

    I believe that the book is in the future, because of the unmentionable times and how they already have things that we have today such as locks, wires and stuff like that. Also, the idea of a 'Dystopia' is a society in the future that is in someway undesirable or frightening. Not to mention that Rand leaves us enough clues in the book to make us think that way, even though there are some things that could lead us to believe that Anthem is set the past.

    As for the themes in this book, there are several, like romance, individuality and in general a protagonist going against something, which in this case would be the House of Scholars when he escapes the prison and refuses to tell the judges of his whereabouts. As for romance, we can see that when he refers to Liberty 5-3000, claiming she is the golden one and that she was so beautiful even the ground would bow down for her. FInally, for individuality, we see that since our protagonist refers to himself as we and we never get any details to picture him in our head, we only have a white person with no face, no identity.

  4. Sophia,
    I really liked your post, I enjoyed reading each question and your analyzation/proof for each one. I want to choose your first question, though, to respond to, as in my opinion it's one of the most interesting for the book overall. I, personally, believe it's set in the past, mostly because of the whole idea of electricity. If, before the major changes in the world happened (the ones that made the world turn into how it is in the book) electricity couldn't have been too widespread, as if it was why would they not have it? It makes no sense that they would discard something so useful/efficient to their lives, when starting a completely new commuity, unless, of course, that people didn't really have access to it. So that leads me to believe it takes in the past, but some war/dispute happened and drastic changes were made by the leading powers.