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Anthem - What if Individuality ere Banned by Law?

Uploaded by SchoolStinks! on Jun 19, 2005

Equality 7-2521 is a street sweeper in a dystopic future where:

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.

But Equality 7-2521 has a problem; he doesn't believe in the things that his brothers do. He has questions, which can not even be asked, that he wants answered. He has a friend (International 4-8818), which is forbidden, and then he falls in love with a woman he calls "The Golden One" (Liberty 5-3000). And as if all these crimes weren't bad enough, he's started to do experiments in an abandoned culvert and he's figured out electricity. But he's willing to accept the consequences for his crimes because he's certain that his discovery is so important to Mankind as to absolve him of all blame. He is, of course, wrong. Because in this society, it is not a good thing for an individual to discover new knowledge: "This is a great sin, to be born with a head which is too quick. It is not good to be different from our brothers, but it is evil to be superior to them." So Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000 escape into the wilderness surrounding the city and, after renaming each other Prometheus and Gaea, begin to work out a philosophy where the self, the individual, is important. Prometheus realizes:

At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke the chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of freedom for which the blood of centuries behind him had been spilled.

But then he gave up all he had won, and fell lower than his savage beginning.

What brought it to pass? What disaster took their reason away from men? What whip lashed them to their knees in shame and submission? The worship of the word "We."

Perhaps in those days, there were a few...

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Uploaded by:   SchoolStinks!

Date:   06/19/2005

Category:   Literature

Length:   5 pages (1,163 words)

Views:   4565

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