Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week #5 - Literary Analysis (Julia C)

Ayn Rand
Parts 11-12
Literary Analysis Question

Equality 7-2521, also known as Prometheus, drastically changes from the beginning to the end of the novel. At first, Equality 7-2521 thinks he is born with a curse. He thinks that being different than his brothers is a sin. “All men are good and wise. It is only we, Equality 7-2521, we alone who were born with a curse. For we are not like our brothers” (part 1). Equality 7-2521 always felt guilty and bad because of his curse. He was born learning that being different is a horrible. You can’t call anyone your friend or have a lover because when you do this, you are liking someone more than others. He lives in a place where even being smarter is considered a sin because it means you are superior than your brother. “So we fought against this curse. We tried to forget our lessons, but we always remembered. We tried not to understand what the Teachers taught, but we always understood it before the Teachers had spoken. We looked upon Union 5-3992, who were a pale boy with only half a brain, and we tried to say and do as they did, that we might be like them, like Union 5-3992, but somehow the Teachers knew that we were not. And we were lashed more often than all the other children” (part 1). He was even punished because he was smarter than his brothers. Also, everything he did was for the sake of the community and his brother. “We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great we, one, indivisible and forever” (part 1). They were taught their whole lives to do everything for their brothers but never for themselves. It was a sin to be selfish and do something for your own good. Equality 7-52521's dream was to become a Scholar at the Home of the Scholars. "And in the darkness, in the secret hour, when we awoke in the night and there were no brothers around us, but only their shapes in the beds and their snores, we closed our eyes, and we held our lips shut, and we stopped our breath, that no shudder might let our brothers see or hear or guess, and we thought that we wished to be sent to the Home of the Scholars when our time would come" (part 1). He loves the science of things and wants to know everything that happens to the earth. Before, Equality 7-2521 was like everyone else in his community. 

In the end of the novel, Prometheus is a different person. He loves the fact that he was born the 'curse.' "I understood the blessed thing which I had called my curse. I understood why the best in me had been my sins and my transgressions; and why I had never felt guilt in my sins. I understood that centuries of chains and lashes will not kill the spirit of man nor the sense of truth within him" (part 12). He is thankful for everything in him and doesn't consider his smartness as a sin but as a blessing now. Prometheus values and understands individualism. "I am done with the monster of "We," the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame" (part 11). Prometheus knows that the word "we" is a monster and that all men should know that. The word "we" that he has used until know is a word that doesn't have any value in individualism. Also, Prometheus knows that the meaning of life is not to honor or do anything for only the sake of your brothers. You should live in order to find your own happiness and values. "My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose" (part 11). He will live in order to find his happiness, not the happiness of his brothers. He will do everything for himself, and not his brothers. He will be unique and different from his brothers rather than being alike. Prometheus now hates every Scholar in the Home of the Scholars. ""You fools!" we cried. "You fools! You thrice-damned fools!"" (part 7). The Scholars are fools which don't see the importance of electricity and light. They threw his idea away and didn't value the box with the light. He has bigger goals and dreams rather than getting in the Home of the Scholars. "I shall live here, in my own house. I shall take my food from the earth by the toil of my own hands. I shall learn many secrets from my books. Through the years ahead, I shall rebuild the achievements of the past, and open the way to carry them further, the achievements which are open to me, but closed forever to my brothers, for their minds are shackled to the weakest and dullest ones among them" (part 12). He wants to bring back ideas and knowledge from the 'unmentionable times' and revive them. He wants to show the world that not everything from the past was a bad idea. There were a lot of good things from the 'unmentionable times' that could still been used today. 

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