Objectivism in Ayn Rand’s “Anthem”

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In Ayn Rand’s famous story Anthem, the differing objectivism and collectivism are pit against each other. With objectivism being so tight knit and different from the society in the book, it seems that it would be almost impossible to truly follow in its entirety. However, Anthem, as a whole, doesn’t violate the ideals of Ayn’s philosophy of objectivism.

In the beginning of the book, the reader is introduced to a collectivist society that rose after a era was named the “Unmentionable Times” where it was assumed there was great destruction that caused the fear of new society. This society doesn’t allow individual ideals, differences, choices, and solitude. This society is meant to be portrayed as unlikable to people who come from where differences and talents are allowed and encouraged, such as the United States. It doesn’t fit objectivism, and actually is the opposite.

The use of this kind of society in the book is only a tool to show how objectivism is much better than collectivism. It is meant to show the troubles of this kind of idea such as a boring lifestyle, lack of choice, and lack of technology and advancement. This society portrayed weaker and less than an individual, while equality, who is slowly gaining a sense of individuality, progressed beyond them at a much faster rate. This shown by the way they light up their respective worlds. While the society as a whole uses candles, which are primitive, provide small amount of light, and have fragile, naked flames, the light Equality discovers is stronger. It can be made brighter, cleaner, and doesn’t go out with a breath of air.

The electric light is also a symbol for equality. He is stronger and taller at he wants. Through example, he is showing the city people that they have a choice too, whether they want to follow him or reject the ideas in favor of their collective ones. Equality isn’t helping anyone unless they want to be helped. He is merely giving them something that they were never given, a fundamental right to make their own decisions about what is best for them in their minds.Giving people a chance to choose for themselves what they truly want is what objectivism is for.

Ayn Rand wrote Anthem as a critique of Communism, yet along with that she demonstrated her own belief system of individual ideals. Objectivism was aptly shown throughout the entire novella with the thoughts and actions of the main characters, Equality and Liberty in contrast with the universal thought of the city and society. Rand clearly showed her philosophy well in this story.

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Objectivism in Ayn Rand’s “Anthem”. (2021, Dec 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/objectivism-in-ayn-rands-anthem/

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