Anthem Rough Draft – Paper Essay
Anthem Rough Draft Ayn Rand’s “Anthem” illustrates a series of ironic connections between great successors of Greek mythology and to her two main characters. The main characters, Equality 7-2521 and Liberty5-300, both contain very interesting and unique personalities, which makes them incompatible with their collectivism society due to who they are and what they believe. Ayn Rand disperses random clues throughout the book that provide evidence and reasoning of why she chose to rename her characters after two significant creator figures in Greek mythology. So, why did Ayn Rand chose the names? How does it explain her philosophy?
Prometheus was a Titan from Greek mythology. He sided with the gods and created humans out of clay without Zeus’ approval. After Zeus discovered that Prometheus was creating humans, he decided to punish Prometheus by prohibiting him from teaching the ways of civilization to man. This made Athena chose to convince her father Zeus to teach Prometheus so that he would teach man. Zeus became furious with the actions of man and Prometheus. This made Zeus conclude that it was forbidden for the gods to give fire to man. Prometheus was upset from Zeus’ proclamation, which made him decide that he was going to bring fire to humanity. Read also essay about Zeus Actions in Prometheus Bound.
Prometheus entered Olympus cautiously to steal hot burning coals, which he placed in a fennel stalk to prevent anyone from finding out. With his success, he reached his destination of man and presented the gift of fire. Zeus angered after discovering what Prometheus did, again decided to punish Prometheus by having him chained to a rock for a great eagle to constantly eat at his liver, only for it to grow back again. The interesting character Equality 7-2521 has ironic connections to the myth of Prometheus, which is strongly exemplified throughout the story. Equality’s quote “At first, man was enslaved by the gods.
But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But then he broke their chains” (Rand 101) relates with the myth of Prometheus and what he decided to do for humanity. Equality and Prometheus were both punished for an individual creation they each had without permission. Equality was punished for recreating the light bulb that he believed would improve his collectivism society, which relates to Prometheus by what he was punished for. Equality with wanting to share his invention with the society, he proves his love for humanity by this quote: “Our discovery is too great for us to waste our time in sweeping the treets. We must not keep our secret to ourselves, not buried under the ground. We must bring it into the sight of men” (Rand 60). In this case, Equality was obsessed with giving his society the knowledge he though the deserved. To relate, Prometheus wanted to give man the knowledge of fire because he believed that humans had a right to have the benefits of the element. “And slowly, slowly as a flush of blood, a red flame trembled in the wire. Then the wire glowed” (Rand 70). From this quote, it dropped a hint to the reader that Equality and Prometheus are very like-minded.
In Greek mythology, Gaea was known as the Earth Goddess or Mother Earth, who came out of chaos. Gaea became a member of every pantheon of gods who were worshipped by polytheistic religions throughout human history. She was given a job in these pantheons, which was to be the maternal goddess of Earth. It was said that she mated with Ouranus, the sky-god, and gave birth to the first generations of Titans and Olympian Gods. She gave birth to Uranus who created the sky, Pontus the creator of the sea, the Giants from her mating with Tartarus who created the hell-pit and mortal creatures were then created afterwards from her flesh.
The brave and single-minded character Liberty 5-300, links to the Greek myth of Gaea, the Earth Goddess. Like Gaea, Liberty controlled the nature around her by planting seeds where she dictated them to go and she took care of the land by tilling it. This relates to Gaea because they both created something of nature and caring for this creation. Liberty and Gaea are the source of humanity and the start to freedom. Liberty is the source of humanity by becoming pregnant by the end of the story, and by Equality’s quote “Gaea is pregnant with my child. Our son will be raised as a man.
He will be taught to say “I” and to bear the pride of it. He will be taught to walk straight and on his own feet. He will be taught reverence for his own spirit. ,” (Rand 100) it proves that they are both creating a new beginning of individualism. To relate, Gaea was the source of the first born which started the first few generations. Gaea was created out of chaos, which relates to Liberty coming from chaos because in the society everyone is unhappy; people wake up during the night screaming or crying and everyone is forced into doing chores that only benefits the society.
This makes the society seem organized, but in reality they are in control and greedy making them unaware of the emotional damage citizens. Ayn Rand chose to rename her main characters to give an understanding of her philosophies, which are shown from the comparisons. She strongly exemplifies her disbelief of collectivism by forcing her main characters to disobey their society, making them realize that they have a right to be different and that they want more knowledge about the times before the Great Rebirth.
She demonstrates her belief of individualism and the right of having your own freedom by the Character Equality and how his thought process is contradictive to his collectivism society that reveals his individual identity. Also by contrast, the citizens in the society are assigned numbers and social concepts as identifying tags, which shows another way for the society to steal their individuality from them.
Finally, Ayn Rand’s most important belief on ego is represented by explaining at the end of ‘Anthem’ that Equality finally understands that he created the light bulb for its own benefit and once he realized that he is strong and beautiful, he wanted to recreate his own society. From Ayn Rand’s philosophies, it explains the reason why she chose the names Prometheus and Gaea, which was to help and assist the reader to get a better understanding of the reasoning for what the characters did based on why they fought for what they believed in and why they sacrificed themselves for their own individuality.