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In the book Anthem by Ayn Rand, what are some literary devices used in chapters 2-5?

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hancock-69 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:16 AM via web

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In the book Anthem by Ayn Rand, what are some literary devices used in chapters 2-5?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:15 PM (Answer #1)

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Ayn Rand uses many similes and metaphors in Anthem. One example of a simile in chapter two says, "Women work in the fields, and their white tunics in the wind are like the wings of sea-gulls beating over the black soil" (38). Another figure of speech used is personification: "Darkness swallowed us" (59). Rand also writes the story in third-person to magnify the loss of the word "I"--a concept that the main character unknowingly seeks throughout the entire novel. By using third-person Rand creates a mood of collectivism without individualism which is important to the meaning behind her philosophy. Another technique used in the telling of the story is the fact that it is written in journal form which adds to the unique individuality and intellectualism reflected by the main character Equality.

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 31, 2015 at 4:31 PM (Answer #2)

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Allusion: The narrative style of Anthem alludes to the style of the manifesto. An allusion often refers to another literary work or character, but in this case Anthem alludes to a style of narration. Rand begins with the use of "we" as the first-person narrative voice to show how individualism has vanished in this society. Shen then employs dramatic irony (the reader knows the narrator is in process of discovering himself as a singular "I" before the character/narrator does). The manifesto style of "we" (think of "we the people") is replaced by "I" symbolizing the character's transition to realizing his individuality. Using the "we" or the "I" in the style of the manifesto aludes to (calls to mind) a style of stating a philosophy. (The narrator will later claim the name Prometheus, a literary allusion to the character from Greek Mythology. He chooses this name because Prometheus gave fire to mankind, just as Rand's Prometheus gives electric light. 

The "Uncharted Forest" is a literal place, but it also a metaphor for that which is forbidden by the state (government). It also symbolizes the unknown, which lies in nature. An investigation of the unknown is the search for knowledge: science. The forest symbolizes all of these things: a desire for forbidden knowledge. There is also a Biblical allusion here: the uncharted forest refers to the forbidden fruit in The Garden of Eden. 

Men never enter the Uncharted Forest, for there is no power to explore it and no path to lead among its ancient trees which stand as guards of fearful secrets. (Part 2) 

Rand uses personification to describe the trees as "guards." 

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