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Analyze Rand's use of darkness and light in Anthem and disscuss the way these symbols...

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amsa2011 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 28, 2011 at 8:38 AM via web

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Analyze Rand's use of darkness and light in Anthem and disscuss the way these symbols contribute to the overall meaning of the novel.

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted May 30, 2012 at 4:19 PM (Answer #1)

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The images of darkness and light are continually in contrast with each other in Rand's novel Anthem. While reading it, one might visualize seeing it as a black and white film; but, these images are certainly symbolic to what might call revelation or enlightenment. For example, the walls, floors, and beds of all the homes are white which symbolized cleanliness, but also equality. The people wear white tunics and the leader wear white togas, although status symbols in style, they are not different colors which again suggests equality. The candle is the only form of light given to the people which is partial darkness and the lowest form of technology attributed to controlled light or energy. The candle represents the bare minimum amount of knowledge associated with the people's education. When Equality 7-2521 discovers electricity, and the ability to sustain it through bulbs, it is a symbol of his inner light and knowledge that is growing and expanding within himself. The dark cave where he must secretly learn and discover new things soon becomes a place of light physically and symbolically. It is also interesting that the girl Equality falls in love with is a symbol of light because she has blonde hair and he eventually calls her The Golden One. Through her, he discovers another type of knowledge and light that had previously been denied him. These examples all suggest that living without knowledge of ourselves as individuals leads to darkness, but we can learn so much more in the full light of things.


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