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Discuss how the author of Anthem, Ayn Rand, uses a fictional society to convey...

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bobmarly1 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 11, 2011 at 11:34 AM via web

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Discuss how the author of Anthem, Ayn Rand, uses a fictional society to convey important ideas about mankind and society in general. Be sure to clearly identify the “important ideas” they express.

 

 

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:18 AM (Answer #1)

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Ayn Rand set up her society in Anthem hierarchally by councils. Even though the motto of the society was "one in all and all in one," there were still different classes or groups which is very typical of the human condition(19). At the very top of the hierarchy there is the World Council whichis considered the authority (or body) of all truth. This council dictates policy like whether or not to use candles at night. They make decisions for the society as a whole. Then, there is the Council of Scholars who are the only ones authorized to study anything, but they claim that there "are no mysteries" left to be discovered (23). Then, The Council of Vocations chooses jobs for everyone, which strips individuals of free choice; and all of these councils are considered "the voice of all Justice" (22) or the voice of all men. But truly, the councils speak only their own minds and use their own voices because the common man is never considered in any decision making. The Councils set up work and evening meetings and theater for the common man, but that is all the average joe gets. Average Joe can't choose his mate, either because reproduction is reserved for the Palace of Mating. Finally, if there's any trouble, criminals are sent to the Palace of Corrective Detention. All babies live in the home of infants, kids in the home of sutdents and by 40 years of age, everyone goes to the home of the useless. All of the councils and homes represent controlled areas used to squash individuality and further enlightenment through study or personal experience. People tend to set themselves up in these different groups and try to control others instinctively, which is something Rand was afraid would happen if we don't celebrate individualism.

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