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Why do the prisioners never try to escape from the Palace of Corrective Detention in...

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pusojr | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 12, 2010 at 2:26 AM via web

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Why do the prisioners never try to escape from the Palace of Corrective Detention in Ayn Rand's Anthem?

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mitchrich4199 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted February 2, 2011 at 7:01 PM (Answer #1)

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When Equality 7-2521 is sent to the Palace of Corrective Detention for his failure to come home on time, he is whipped and placed in solitary confinement. He refuses to speak his secret to the men who have punished him. The reason he decides to escape is explained in the following passage:

It was easy to escape from the Palace of Corrective Detention. The locks are old on the doors and there are no guards about. There is no reason to have guards, for men have never defied the Council so far as to escape from whatever place they were ordered to be.

No one has ever tried to escape for several reasons. First, they are scared, like pusojr states below, but they also don't know that they can escape. There really is no where for them to go and even if there were a place to go, they wouldn't feel safe there. When Equality 7-2521 gets to the Uncharted Forest, he assumes that he is doomed. He says,

Whatever days are left to us, we shall spend them alone. And we have heard of the corruption to be found in solitude.

The people of the World Society are so brainwashed that they don't have the will to escape. They don't even understand the word "escape." Interestingly, this begs the question, why would they need a "Palace of Corrective Detention" in the first place? It could possibly be that they know the system has to fail at certain points, like it did with Equality 7-2521.


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