Saturday, November 8, 2014

Literary Analysis - Lexi Farnes

Anthem by Ayn Rand
Literary Analysis
Lexi Farnes

What theme or themes does the author explore in the novel?  Which passages in the text connect to theme?

In the novel Anthem by Ayn Rand, there are a variety of different themes. The most important ones to me are identity, freedom, happiness, and love.

Identity to me is the most important theme than all the other ones I mentioned. In the society in which Equality 7-2521 lives in, no one has an identity. "They are dressed the same, expected to act the same, thought to look the same, and given obscure names and numbers" (BookCaps). Except Equality 7-2521 has always felt different from his brothers and sisters, but in this society that kind of thinking was forbidden so he couldn't say anything about that. When he runs away into the Uncharted Forest he has not yet formed an identity but he was able to be more free and to explore himself, his ideas, and the world. In the forest he even saw what he looked like for the very first time from his reflection in the pond.

Equality 7-2521 finds freedom in places where he confines himself. He found the tunnel from the Unmentionable Times, where he goes as often as possible. He tries to ignore the fact the he is in a hole underground, and feels free to do what he pleases when he's there. Also, when Equality leaves the society and goes to the Uncharted Forest he has a lot of freedom there. He is free from rules, obligations, and to use his mind in any way he wants to. "Though, it is not until Equality 7-2521 discovers books and new knowledge that he truly feels he is free from all of the lies he has grown up believing in" (BookCaps).

"In the society people are expected to be happy all the time but to have no notion of happiness or what can create it" (BookCaps). Equality 7-2521 finally realises when he is free from the constrains of society that people create their own happiness through their own preferences. He realises that he is happy with the Golden One, that he is happy learning as much as he possibly can, "and he is happy at the prospect of creating a new society where people are able to pursue real happiness rather than the obligatory happiness they were forced to believe before" (BookCaps).

Love in the society is forbidden because it means that a person is giving preference to another person or thing. Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000 seem like the only people to understand the concept love, even hough they don't how to express it to each other, because they have never witnessed it. "When they realise the joys of intimacy, closeness, companionship, and shared ideals they want to spread their love with others" (BookCaps).

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lexi, I agree with the themes Rand displays in this book and think the same way on the three themes. I would also like to add a theme that displays this book politically in a governmental way. This book portrays an exaggerated version of what a fully totalitaristic, communist country would be. This is seen throughout the book such as when Equality is punished for his intelligence and then again for his curiosity, two traits we need in today's society. Not only that, but we can also see the theme of controversy in the book such as when Equality displays the lightbulb to the inventors.