Analyzing Anthem by Using Marxist Ideas

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Harvey Mudd College
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Objectivism is discouraged in the Anthems society. The protagonist of the Anthem strives to free himself from the collectivism that exists in his society. All children in the protagonists society were raised in collective homes, far from their parents. The protagonist, Equality 7-2521 aspires to be a scholar yet he assigned by a council of vocation for the collective society to be a street sweeper. Equality 7-2521 is assigned to be a street sweeper despite the fact that he excelled in science subjects when he was in school. In a society where individualism is encouraged, Equality 7-2521 would have become a scholar given that he exemplified prowess in science subjects. Rather than being commended for his exemplary performance in science, the protagonist is indirectly punished for his abilities by being assigned to be a street sweeper. In Objectivism, individuals are encouraged to enjoy their freedoms and liberties. The Anthems society is dictatorial, and individuals are not encouraged to enjoy their freedoms. There is ambiguity in expecting different human beings to think and act in a similar way as advocated by the Council of Vocations in the Anthem. We are one in all and all in one. We are nothing, mankind is all.It is also a logical fallacy to expect individuals not to think about their past. But we must never speak of the times before the Great Rebirth. (Rand 4).

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The Anthems society encourages Marxism. Marxism in the Anthem is portrayed as collectivism. In collectivism, individuals are expected to act in an almost similar manner, and those who hold dissent views are punished. In Marxism, individuals are defined in a collective manner, mostly, based on their social and economic backgrounds. Characters in the Anthem are defined in a collective manner, based on the fact that they were all raised away from their parents. In the Anthem, the characters are expected to conduct themselves in a certain manner as stipulated in the councils code of conduct. There is overgeneralization of individuals who live in the Anthems society. We are twenty- one years old. We are six feet tall. We strive to be like all our brother, for all men must be alike (Rand 3). Citizens of the Anthem society are treated as if they are one person yet they are different people with different personalities. Individualism and diversity are highly discouraged. Any person who behaves in a different manner is labeled a transgressor (Sabine 12).

Logical fallacy is revealed in the Anthem by all characters being expected to act in a specific manner. Individualism is abhorred in the Anthem and individuals are expected to behave in a similar manner. Characters in the Anthem are not allowed to have friends or lovers. It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no other think about and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. There is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. The law says that none among men may be alone, ever at any time, for this is the great transgression and the root of all evil (Rand 2). A slippery slope is exhibited among the Council of Vocations in the Anthem that think that by allowing individuals in the society to be on their own, they will have independent thoughts and therefore individuals should not be allowed to be on their own so that they do not come up with independent thoughts (Sabine 25).

Works Cited

Rand, Ayn. Anthem. Rockville, Md.: Wildside Press, 2013. Print.

Sabine, George H. Marxism. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 1958. Print.

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