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I found this on my hard drive. I got semifinalist the year I submitted it. And yes, I know this makes me look like a "Randslut fanboy."

To me, the world created by Ayn Rand in the novel Anthem was a disgusting display of weakness by humanity. Prometheus’ dissension was a relief to me, a sign that perhaps no matter how low men sink, there is always a spark of hope not within others, but within oneself. Some of the statements in the novel stood out more than others, these signified the collective weakness of the city inhabitants, and were Prometheus’ words of power.

“May the Council have mercy upon us! We had no wish to write such a question, and we knew not what we were doing till we had written it. We shall not ask this question and we shall not think it. We shall not call death upon our head. And yet . . . And yet . . .” Equality wrote this in the dark of his tunnel when he asked himself what the Unspeakable Word was. I see this as one of Equality’s victories, he knew that to seek the Word was damned, but he sought it nonetheless. Equality had a burning desire within him to know more; he endeavored to know for himself, not for the other pathetic beings called his brothers. Day by day, he defied the Council more and more until he crossed an internal threshold and was able to throw off their restraints and leave.

“We are singing because we are happy,’ we answered the one of the Home Council who reprimanded us. ‘Indeed you are happy,’ they answered. ‘How else can men be when they live for their brothers?” The reply of the Home Council member shows how deeply engrained the hive mind concept was into their minds. The Home Council member said not what he believed, but what the mass represented, which I hold as the most important point of this quote. Equality sung to himself, not to his brothers. Abstractly, this quote means that one must be happy, or one is not living for his brothers, and therefore a sin in the flesh. However, only Equality sings, no other, for he is the only happy one. His brothers are instead bound by fear.

“The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who will seek them.” This is a challenge directed towards all the parasites living off each other, for Equality had enough of it, of the weakness, of the fear, of the dependence. The concept in this statement is, “Do it yourself.” It is selfish defiance towards the destitute masses. This affected me the deepest out of any of the three selected quotes. Why should those who have not worked for what they want receive it? Why should they learn what they had not the determination to figure it out themselves? Why should another’s findings be at their disposal? If they truly desire to know, they will search for the truth, alone. No one is obligated to tell any other anything, they can if they wish, but it is like giving alms to the poor, all it does is make them dependent, and drains what remains of their strength, if anything, and transfers it to you. Such is the way of enslaving another.

Closing Anthem, I understood what it truly meant to be free. I understood that it is better to be alone and damned, than to be a pawn for the ‘greater good’. Walking through the hallways, I cannot help but notice the appalling lack of individualism, of pride. When I see such, I feel no pity, but instead I become acutely aware of my freedom, of myself.
Reflections please.


I loved this book. It's so short, but I have fond memories of its visuals. How do you think communism comes into play?