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Par   •  9 Décembre 2018  •  Dissertation  •  514 Mots (3 Pages)  •  137 Vues

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Alexandre Aubert

Mid-term test on Anthem

Question chosen: #2

Rand’s novella Anthem depicts a society, or rather a community, where the leaders have an exclusive power on the population. Everything is strongly structured and very departmental. Every part of an individual’s life is predestined by the many types of council (Home of the Students, Council of Vocations, World Council…). By depicting this kind of society, Rand contrasts with “collectivism” and “individualism” and the reason why she prefers one over the other.  Rand would undoubtedly support Reagan in saying that “… government is not the solution […], government is the problem”, but only to some extent because there are limitations to Reagan’s statement.

First of all, the society Rand depicts in her novella is a supportive argument to Reagan’s statement. The main ideologies presented in Anthem are “collectivism”, which can be seen as a blend of communism and totalitarianism to a certain extent. All of the actions are done for a common good. The motto is, “We are nothing. Mankind is all. By the grace of our brothers are we allowed our lives. We exist through, by and for our brothers who are the State. Amen.”(1.15) The individuals are interdependent and most of all, they rely and depend on the power that rules them.

In addition, the main character Equality 7-2521 only uses plural pronouns when he speaks (“we”, “us”, “they”), as “no men may speak nor hear […] the Unspeakable Word.” (2.53) This use of plural pronouns displays a total lack of individualism where people can only speak of themselves as a community. It is another negative aspect against this type of government, but in favor for libertarianism, objectivism and individualism, as they are Rand’s main ideologies.

At the end, when Equality 7-2521 or Prometheus is free of this society, he discovers the great power individuals have when they are not dependent to any form of power or government. His quest to discover his own self is achieved and that is the main point of objectivism, which Rand promotes because she believes this is the only way human achievement is possible and happiness is reachable. The individual’s creativity and ideas are the center point of this ideology, so that the individual is entirely independent and not connected to any kind of government.

There are also limitations to what Reagan is saying. Being the President of the United States in 1981, he was the main leader of the system that he declared problematic. He has the power, so it would not be in his interest to abolish and destroy any kind of government that exists. It would maybe turn out to be very anarchic without this very structure, so he only believes that “the government is the problem” because he might have thought he acted for the common good by being the President.

Finally, with a study of many aspects of Rand’s Anthem, we can conclude that she would support Reagan’s statement, but only to a certain extent because she believed in a complete lack of government while Reagan was part of it, but believed the same thing (contradictory).


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