Essay, Research Paper: Anthem

World Literature

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A young man lives in a place where the word "I" does not have meaning.
It is a society where there are no individuals. It is, however, a place where
you strive to serve your brothers. Equality 7-2521 was taught from birth that
the individual is not important. He is in a crazed society where the only form
of government is collectivism. Equality, at age 21, has absolutely no freedom.
He is a a strong, tall young man who stands about six feet. However, in this
society, anyone who is six feet tall was considered to be evil. His dream of
going to the House of Scholars is lost and he is sent to the Hose of Street
Sweepers instead. Here the rules are very strict. He is not allowed to laugh or
sing for any reason. These are a couple of hardships that Equality has to face
so far in this mixed up society. His troubles get greater and greater until
finally he does something about it. All through his life, Equality thinks he is
not capable of accomplishing anything. Through time though, he discovers that he
is capable of doing many things by himself and more importantly that he is an
individual. When he is in the tunnel, he discovers a light. This provides him
with the confidence that he is able to do things. Other experiences, such as
falling in love with Liberty and seeing his reflection in the pond also help him
to believe in himself as a strong individual. Equality later realizes that he
has commited sins as he was growing up. He thinks by showing his invention to
the House of Scholars that he would be forgiven for his wrongdoings. He hopes to
show his invention to society and find a way into the House of the Scholars. He
also wants to prove that being tall does not make you an evil individual. He
feels that he has sinned because he was sent to the Palace of Corrective
Detention when he did not reveal where he has been. He wishes to be forgiven for
being sent there. Even though entering the tunnel is against the law, he feels
that he is going to discover things that would improve the society that he is
living in. Equality tries to get the House of Scholars to accept him for the
last time. He finds out when and where they are going to meet and devises a
plan. He decides to escape from the Palace of Corrective Detention and go to
where the meeting is being held. He arrives at the Council of Scholars and look
at him in astonishment. The members are afraid at first because they do not know
exactly what Equality is presenting to them. After they realize what it is that
Equality is showing them, they are very insulted that a mere street sweeper was
belittling their intelligence as Council members. Upon hearing that his idea is
rejected, he leaps out the window and runs to the Uncharted Forest where no man
survives. He finds out that Liberty has followed him into the forest. They come
together and find an abandoned house. They enter it and see things that they
have never seen before. They find clothes, 2 beds in one room, and one thing
that shocked them the most, a mirror. After looking at the mirror, he now knows
for sure that he is an individual. He now understands that the word
"I" that he had learned from the manuscripts of the Unmentionable
Times has meaning. He knows that he lives for himself and not for others. He
realizes that he is his own self and he determines his own fate. He then changes
his name to Promethus which is a Greek God who stole the light of the 600's and
gave it to man. Promethus had suffered just as Equality had, and Equality
admired him very much and chose his name to be his own. Liberty also changed her
name. Equality gave her the name Gaea after the Greek Goddess who was the mother
of earth and all the God's. Gaea becomes pregnant and they both decide to raise
their child as an individual and to never let it experience the hardships they
had faced in the crazed society of Collectivism. Equality makes it his duty to
rescue the other friends he had left behind. He feels that they deserve the same
freedom that he is now experiencing. He plans to "save all men and women
whose spirit has not been killed within them and suffer under the yoke of
brothers." Equality wants to bring his friends to his fortress and start
over a new beginning in which the dreadful word "we" will never again
have meaning.
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