Sunday, May 3, 2015

Week #3 Historical Context (Julia C)

Ayn Rand
Parts 5-6
Historical Context

It is evident that the book, Anthem, is influenced by the Russian Revolution. Ayn Rand witnessed the Russian Revolution and its communist ideas as a child and had very strong opinions about it. The idea of trying to make everyone equal is criticized in the novel as well as the idea of individuals sacrificing everything for their brothers and country - collectivism. In the Russian Revolution, they wanted to make everyone equal. They all have the same things and same rights. The Bolsheviks believed that there should be equality. They used Karl Marx idea to rule Russia. "History of all hitherto societies is the history of class struggle" (Marxists). He says that history of all the past societies is the inequality and social difference between classes. In the Manifesto of the Communist Party, Marx states that all changes in the shapes of society, in political institutions, in history itself, are driven by a process of collective struggles on groups of people with similar economic situation (SparkNotes). In order to change that, there needs to be equality so that everyone is the same.  

Equality 7-2521 lives in a world where it is a sin to be different than all his brothers. In part one it says, "We strive to be like all our brother men, for all men must be alike" (Rand). They have to be alike and if they are different, they are punished. Equality 7-2521 was born with a 'curse' because he thinks faster and is smarter than the rest of his brothers. "This is a great sin, to be born with a head which is too quick. It is not good to be different from our brothers, but it is evil to be superior to them" (Rand). They all have to be equal and one can't be superior than the other. However, we can see that when Equality 7-2521 goes to the Home of the Scholars, the Scholars underestimate him and treat him as if they were superior. "'A Street Sweeper! A Street Sweeper walking in upon the World Council of Scholars! It is not to be believed!"' (Rand). In this part, the Scholar can't believe the fact that a Street Sweeper came in into the Council of Scholars. When the Scholar says that, it feels as if he suppressing a Street Sweeper saying that he has no authority to come in the Council of Scholars because Scholars have a better status and are superior than the Street Sweepers. In this part, they are not being equal. Just the fact that people are classified into jobs which suits them best according to their ability is not equal because when they are classified like that, they are kind of saying that a Street Sweeper doesn't have the capability of being a Scholar and discover things. They are only worth for cleaning. In his case, of course that the Scholars have a better status and are better than Street Sweepers. Ayn Rand shows how it is very ironic that they say they are all equal but actually, some people are more equal than others. In Russia, they wanted everyone to be equal. All the poor are the same as the rich. However, Stalin and hist people had more power than others. The farmers were superior from the peasants and workers. Nothing will ever be equal.


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