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Describe the society in which Anthem is set.

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mzsuccezzful | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 24, 2012 at 1:25 AM via web

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Describe the society in which Anthem is set.

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 24, 2012 at 3:04 AM (Answer #1)

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The society depicted in Anthem is a dystopia. The concept of individuality is forbidden, to the point that using the word "I" is punishable by death. People do not even have names that set themselves apart from others. The leading characters, for example, are named Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000. It is a society of complete and total collectivization, where people are forbidden to own private property. Even children are taken from their parents at a very young age and raised and educated in special homes. Human impulses like friendship, learning, and even love are discouraged or outlawed. As the narrator describes it, "We strive to be like all our brother men, for all men must be alike." 

Rand was a radical libertarian, who tended to see all government action as tyranny. The setting for Anthem seems to be, in her mind, the logical conclusion of the use of state power.

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