Anthem: Metaphor Analysis

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Anthem: The central metaphor in Rand's book is the anthem to the self.  Throughout Anthem, Rand associates the corrupt ideology of the collectivists with religion.  For example, she describes the daily City Council meetings in terms of church services.  Even the word Anthem itself has a religious connotation.  Rand consciously chose to describe her story using traditional religious images, hoping to replace God with an exalted view of man.  Indeed, her anthem is to the individual human being who realizes his glorified state of existence and uses it to his own advantage. 

Electric Box: More than being a key to the plot development, Equality 7-2521's rediscovery of electricity epitomizes Rand's belief in individual human potential.  The box symbolizes the modern ideals of The Unconquered and The Golden One-individuality, the power of human reason, and the betterment of society through pure science instead of social planning.  In humanistic, enlightenment terms, Equality 7-2521 describes this power of electricity (and the power of individual ability): "There are no limits to its secrets and its might, and it can be made to grant us anything if we but chose to ask."

Collective: More than being a metaphor for the Russian state Rand left, Anthem's collective society represents the forces of socialism and altruism everywhere.  Rand believed that the ideology of collectivism would destroy Russia and any other nation fallen prey to its grasp.  Rand also associates the collective with Christianity, which she believed was invented to keep man in bondage to others and the state.  Only in an individualistic, rational, objective world, can the flawed aims of collectivism be debunked, she argues.

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