The Importance of Ego In the novella Anthem by Any Rand, the last two chapters play an important part in bringing together the text as a whole. The narrator transitions from third to first person narration after his escape from the dismal “utopian” society. Prometheus, the aforementioned narrator, recounts the history of man and his struggle to overcome oppression by greater forces and authoritarian figures. The author chooses to repeat symbols and words of individuality and the benefits of singular work.
Any Rand uses her novella Anthem to promote the importance of individuality in all aspects of life. In her early life, the author, Any Rand, was exposed to brutal oppression and collectivist thinking. Any Rand, born “in SST. Petersburg, Russia in 1905” soon before the communist revolution occurred in 1917. Growing up she detested the institution she lived under, so she immigrated to America in 1926. Any Rand was educated in the USSR which gave her an upper hand that other American novelists didn’t have. She had first-hand experience with communism which drove her to oppose It entirely.
According to Rand, “no outside power has the right to demand” anything from an Individual or the work they can produce. In her lifetime, Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged, We the Living, the Fountainhead, and Anthem. Among other less popular works by the end of her writing career. These fictional books advocate Individualism and bravery in a despotic society. Any Rand died in New York City, NY in 1982, leaving behind her a legacy which fueled more complex and innovative thinking in future generations of readers and philosophers.
The style of Any Rand’s writing impacted the world of literature from the beginning. She “[defied] cultural and political trends” and “established a unique place” among fellow authors. According to Danna, “[Any Rand’s] mind was utterly first handed” which proved to be very successful. Although at first she was misunderstood and deemed “immature” in a psychological sense, Any Rand became a reputable author through explanation of her philosophy: Objectivism. According to Stephen Cox, “Rand could not find a philosophy that reflected her beliefs” so she created a new philosophy entirely.
The success of Objectivism was long lived by Any Rand thanks to her persistence and unconditional belief in the individual mind. Her “[works are] a protest to individual submission” and they “reject distinction” just as the Objectivism theory does. This is why in her works she focuses “inside the head” of the narrator rather than the importance of a solid plot. The psychological aspect of her philosophy is seen especially in Anthem where the mind of one man has been destroyed by the foundation which raised him.
In Anthem there is no sense of religion, either, which was Any Rand’s purpose In all of her novels. According personally to Any Rand, “religion Is nothing but a brutal attempt to subjugate the Individual mind” and individual goals each man should achieve. Objectivism Is solely a belief In one’s own self. There Is no delve power or authoritarian force that can sway a person’s decisions or thoughts to work for or against others. Individual power Is higher than corruption and collectivist ideology. Electives ideologists. In Anthem there is no distinct malevolent force, but citizens who have different hardwiring in their minds than Prometheus does. There is no villain, only “good against good-different” since villains are deemed irrelevant. For objectivism, it is more important to focus on the protagonist and their inner struggles ether than the community and how an antagonist may impair them. One of the most important aspects of Anthem is its connection to the younger audience.
Prometheus is a young adult trying to find his place in a society where he does not fit. According to Karen Gould ‘any young adult would benefit from Promethium’s struggle with identity because it is so easily relatable to them. Anthem, being one of “Rand’s simplest novels”, explains objectivism using “inner psychological states” which is a both practical and pleasing style of writing for any reader interested in studying Objectivism works. Effortlessly, Anthem brings together both a pleasing plot packed with Objectivism morals and ideas.
The novel brings “the kind of intensity’ a reader would think “could [change] the course of history’: exactly what Any Rand imagined her work to do. The protagonists “never give up” their beliefs and “assert their… Stubborn views” on their world. These morals are synonymous with the ideas of objectivism: to never give up an individual thought, or decision because of outside forces. Anthem promotes “outstanding moral character” and individuality simply and with intensity, not to bore young readers, but to draw them towards eating more complex objectivism works, such as the Fountainhead.
Unlike many novels of the time, Any Rand chose to create an inner struggle for Prometheus to battle throughout the novel. The beginning shows his unwillingness to think other than “the individual cannot exist apart from the collective” society, regardless of his sinful thoughts. With each chapter a new part of individualism is revealed to Prometheus, but it is up to him to fit the pieces together. The “evil” that he is doing “does not bring him a… Punishment” rather a “psychological reward” for thinking as a singular person.
Closing out the book, Prometheus fully understands that “ego is… A cause of splendor” for man. The last two chapters of the novel represent the anthem of people Just like Prometheus and Gaga. Each paragraph can be read as a hymn or chant of people who believe in the individual mind, the people of Objectivism. Prometheus reflects on the history of man being “enslaved by the gods” and “enslaved by other men” and how detrimental this was to the ego of man. In his lifetime, the authority oppressed his society, and completely erased any evidence of first person.
The summary of the wow-chapter anthem is that the only freedom left for men is taken away only by other men’ and each person has the ability to create the life they want, no superior being can control the fate of a person. Unlike the aforementioned critics, it can be speculated that Any Rand used religious symbols and illusions to make fun of religion as a whole. Ego is “[the] god that will grant [men] JOY’ and Prometheus and Gaga are very similar to the biblical Adam and Eve. The use of gods and religious symbols in this book further supports Objectivism ideas. To worship the ‘Ego god’ is to worship oneself.
There is no god to worship but the power inside oneself. Many critics believe that because Any Rand was atheist, that the religious symbols in her books happened by mistake, or were In reality and in fiction, Any Rand was a strong believer in the individualist mind and the power of one. Compiling her complex background, the breakthrough philosophy of objectivism, and lack of religious beliefs, each of Rand’s novels proclaim the values and ideas of objectivism starting with the most basic Anthem. Even after her death, Any Rand still makes a very large impact on modern society and advanced philosophy today.